On Monday morning, unverified reports that veteran rock ‘n’ roller Gregg Allman was in hospice started circulating around social media. A flurry of public concern followed in the wake of an erroneous report published by a radio station in the quad cities area that straddles northwest Illinois and southeastern Iowa. According to the bogus report, the 69-year-old Allman Brothers Band founder entered hospice, presumably to perish, after a years long history of “hard-partying and drug abuse.”
A number of generally reliable sources, including Relix magazine, reiterated the rumors about Gregg without confirmation from anyone in the Allman Brothers camp.
Truth is, Gregg Allman is not in hospice after all. Several hours after the rumors went viral, the musician’s official Facebook page denied them with a public message from Allman himself.
“Hey everyone. I just wanted y’all to know that I’m currently home in Savannah resting on my doctor’s orders. I want to thank you for all the love that you are sending. Looking forward to seeing everyone again. Keep Rockin’ “
Rumors that Gregg was gravely ill and entering end of life care rang true to many readers, especially after Allman canceled his entire 2017 tour last month. Scheduled to hit the road in June, the latest Gregg Allman band boasts a lineup that features guitarist Scott Sharrard, keyboard player Peter Levin, and a rhythm section comprising drummer Marc Quinones and the oh-so aptly named Brett Bass. Horn players Jay Collins and Art Edmaiston were also contracted to play the now-cancelled 2017 tour. As Allman explained on his website, canceling the much-anticipated shows was not easy.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long, long, time. I’ve been on the road for 45 years because I live to play music with my friends for my fans. As much as I hate it, it’s time for me to take some real time off to heal. Not making a show is a really hard decision for me because I want to play so bad, but it’s also hard on my partners and fans who make plans to be with me. I never want to put anybody in a bad spot. I’m so grateful for the people that I work with and for the fans that come to my shows and I want to be at my best for all of them. That means I’m going to have to wait until I’m feeling really good, not just good enough like I have been. Good enough isn’t working for us all.”
News that Gregg Allman might be ill enough to require palliative hospice care shook Allman Brothers fans especially hard. It was only a few weeks ago, in January 2017, that long time ABB drummer, Butch Trucks, passed away in Florida at age 69.
Born Gregory LeNoir Allman in Nashville on December 8, 1947, Allman was and continues to be a force in the bluesy and improvisational world of Southern Rock music. Gregg and his one-year older brother, Duane, founded the influential Allman Brothers Band in Jacksonville, Florida as the 1960s came to a close. The original band lineup comprised Gregg on keyboards and vocals, Duane Allman and Dickey Betts on slide and lead guitars, Berry Oakley on bass duties, and Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson on dual drum kits.
Appealing to a broad fan base of hippies and rednecks, the ABB eventually set up housekeeping in Macon, Georgia. While signed with Capricorn Records, the band delivered a number of critically acclaimed albums and radio hits, including “Mountain Jam,” “Jessica,” “Ramblin’ Man,” and “Sweet Melissa.”
The Midwest radio station that originated this morning’s bogus report has now updated their website to reflect the fact that Gregg Allman is not in hospice. Other sources are backpedaling rumors of the Allman hospice situation, as well.
[Featured Image by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]