Watch 6 Different Allman Brothers Band Lineups Perform Live
Nov 13, 2020
12:46 pm PST
The Allman Brothers Band began a 45-year career in 1969 that included many highs and numerous lows. The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame act’s founding lineup of guitarists Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, keyboardist Gregg Allman, bassist Berry Oakley and drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson carried the flag through Duane’s tragic death on August 29, 1971; which set off a revolving door of musicians that lasted until a stable unit became intact in 2001.
Twenty different musicians were members of The Allman Brothers Band for at least one tour as per Wikipedia. Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks were the only artists who were part of the group for its entire 45-year run. All told, The Allmans took the stage with 13 lineups — not including a member missing a show here or there — according to Ultimate Classic Rock.
The highest quality footage of the original lineup in action was recorded on September 23, 1970 at Fillmore East in New York City. While the video was filmed for a PBS special, it was never released due to dispute over ownership according to biographer Alan Paul. The Allman Brothers Band was augmented by frequent guest Thom Doucette on harmonica for “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’” before they go at it alone for “Dreams” and “Whipping Post” in the video above.
After Duane died, the band continued touring with the lineup of Gregg, Dickey, Berry, Butch and Jaimoe. Keyboardist Chuck Leavell was added to the mix in September 1972. This video features the lineup with Leavell performing at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on November 2, 1972 — just nine days before Oakley was killed due to injuries from a motorcycle accident that took place mere blocks from where Duane had his fatal crash.
Bassist Lamar Williams was recruited to join the band following Berry Oakley’s tragic death. A lineup of Williams, Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks, Jaimoe and Chuck Leavell was intact from November 1972 through May 1976, at which the group began a hiatus that lasted through August 1978. On September 10, 1973, The Allman Brothers Band returned to their hometown of Macon, Georgia for a concert that also featured Wet Willie and the Marshall Tucker Band. Performances of “Done Somebody Wrong,”“Southbound,”“Midnight Rider,”“Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” and “Statesboro Blues” aired as part of Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert’s A Saturday Night In Macon special.
When the ABB reformed in August 1978, the group consisted of Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Dan Toler, David “Rook” Goldflies, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe. This incarnation lasted through November 1980, when Jaimoe departed the band. Jaimoe was replaced by Dan Toler’s brother, David “Frankie” Toler, and keyboardist Mike Lawler was added. On January 3, 1981, this final ABB lineup before a seven-year breakup that spanned 1982 – 1989 played The Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey. Most of the show was captured by the venue’s in-house cameras and can be seen above.
The last era of The Allman Brothers Band began in June 1989 and continued through the group’s farewell at The Beacon Theatre in New York City on October 28, 2014. However, a handful of personnel changes took place between 1989 and 2001. For six years, the lineup featured Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Warren Haynes, Allen Woody, Butch Trucks, Jaimoe and percussionist Marc Quiñones. The Allman Brothers Band scored a plum slot at Woodstock ’94, a celebration of the iconic festival’s 25th anniversary held on Winston Farm in Saugerties, New York. Footage of the full ABB set aired as part of a pay-per-view special and can be viewed above.
Warren Haynes and Allen Woody left the ABB to focus on Gov’t Mule in 1997, setting off a series of lineup changes that would continue until Haynes returned to the group in 2001. The final The Allman Brothers Band lineup — Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Butch Trucks, Jaimoe and Marc Quiñones — was the act’s longest lasting iteration. On March 26, 2009, the ABB celebrated their 40th anniversary at what became their home venue, New York City’s The Beacon Theatre. Each show from the 2009 “March Madness” run featured special guests, except for the one above.