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My Cross to Bear

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  3,037 Ratings  ·  431 Reviews
For the first time, rock music icon Gregg Allman, one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band, tells the full story of his life and career in My Cross to Bear. No subject is taboo, as one of the true giants of rock ’n’ roll opens up about his Georgia youth, his long struggle with substance abuse, his string of bad marriages (including his brief union with super ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by William Morrow
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Oct 11, 2016 Melanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh, this was alright. I really like the Allman Brothers band and I love Gregg's singing voice. As for Gregg himself, I'm not sure. I am glad he finally got his life in order and is trying to be a better dad. Would I recommend this, probably not. (I will still rock-out to his band though)!!

Update 10/11/16. Just saw an article, Gregg is now engaged to a woman in her 20's! I changed my mind, despite being sober, he hasn't learned much. Apparently, "this is the first time he's been truly in love".
Jeez but I love summer with its hall pass to unabashedly read trash like this. If it’s content you seek you’ll learn more from the back of a box of Cocoa Puffs. It’s a stretch to consider Allman even one dimensional. Still, his ability to use the word ‘shit’ as noun, adjective, adverb and verb is impressive and omission of that word alone would trim the book’s 400 pages down to 250. Eliminating the word ‘man’ would trim it an additional 75 pages.

I recall my mother once saying, “Oh, I’m so glad
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
3.5 stars
This is tough to rate. Gregory's style is conversational and easy to read and often hilarious. It's like he's just sitting there on your sofa telling you about his life, complete with colorful Southern expressions and lots of swearing. I blew through the second half in one afternoon.

The first half is heavy on the drugs and sex, and could rightly be called MY CROTCH TO BARE. Mr. Allman was apparently known among the ladies and his bandmates as quite the cocksman, and he likes to pound a
Ann Collette
Jul 28, 2012 Ann Collette rated it it was amazing
I totally loved this book but am very aware of the fact that my reaction is deeply personal and not at all that of an objective reviewer. I love a lot of the Allman Brothers' music and have idolized Duane Allman since I first heard him play guitar, so I'm predisposed to love any book that goes into his life in any depth. Over the years, Gregg lost some credibility for me, thanks to his marriage to Cher and his involvement in a drug trial where a friend of his paid the price for getting drugs for ...more
Graham Elvis
Nov 22, 2014 Graham Elvis rated it it was amazing
I found this at the library and thought Id give it a read. Gregg got up and jammed with my band The Elvis Brothers in St. Louis around 1986 he played guitar with us which was a thrill and he liked The Elvis Brothers... After the show we were hanging in our dressing room with Gregg who was feeling no pain but just wouldn't chill so to speak. We had to leave our own dressing room for some peace and quiet... I remember thinking to myself " I can't believe I just had to leave my own dressing room t ...more
Mar 17, 2014 Laurie rated it really liked it

I thought Gregg Allman's autobiography was very honest and straightforward and I enjoyed learning about him and the rise and fall of the Allman Brothers Band. Drugs and alcohol doomed this band as it did so many other great bands and Allman's recounting of his addiction is tragic and sad. He was finally able to overcome his addiction after many attempts.

After reading this book I can understand now why Allman could wail the blues in the manner that touched the soul. His early life was one of ext
Duffy Pratt
Aug 14, 2016 Duffy Pratt rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
The title comes from his song "It's Not My Cross To Bear," and the full song title would have been more apt. No matter what went wrong with the band, according to Gregory, it wasn't really his fault. For example, the decline the band saw in the eighties was the fault of the audience and the change in pop culture, and had nothing really to do with him being strung out on heroin, an alcoholic, or his other kinds of drug abuse. People just weren't digging good music at that time.

The Allman Brother
Jul 28, 2012 James rated it it was amazing
Great literature it's not, but it is a fine rock autobiography. In a folksy manner, Allman tells about 11 trips to rehab, 6 wives (including Cher), 5 kids by 5 different women, 3 breakups and reunions, 2 band members dying on motorcycles early on, one of which was his brother Duane, the acrimonious split with Dickey Betts (think Keith Richards and Mick Jagger), a business jet that had belonged to Led Zeppelin and later Elton John, a loving mother, a liver transplant, and a lot of song writing, t ...more
Joel Brown
Dec 09, 2012 Joel Brown rated it it was ok
Finally got around to reading this after interviewing Gregg about a year ago. He said his approach was influenced much by Keith Richards' memoir, "Life," and it's easy to see. Good stuff about his early life, about forming the band and shaping their sound. In Gregg's case that leads to painful stuff about the deaths of his brother Duane and bassist Berry Oakley and the mid-70s implosion of the band amid those tragedies and huge drug intake.

Like Keith's book, this one channels the star's voice re
Oct 10, 2012 Bill rated it liked it
My first question when I started this book was did Alan Light do ANYTHING except have dictation typed up and organize the chapters. The answer is, it does not seems so. Gregg's voice at the beginning of this thing makes him sound to me like the 17 year old Daytona Dick Head that he was. For the first third of the book Gregory sounded to me like at 64 he was still an immature, self absorbed, cry baby.

I really began to like this book and to some degree G L Allman more as it went. For a while it s
Feb 21, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it
"If I fell over dead right now, I have led some kind of life."

That's Gregg Allman near the end of "My Cross to Bear," and after reading his autobiography, "My Cross to Bear," I have to agree with him.

Some kind of life indeed.

Gregg Allman is best known, of course, as the frontman for The Allman Brothers Band, and his story is inextricably linked to the band's. In the early Allman Brothers days, Gregg's big brother, Duane, was running the show. Duane was the one who kept everyone in line, who wa
Jul 12, 2012 Bobby rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography
Let me preface this review by stating I have been a huge fan of the Allman Brothers Band music for the vast majority of my life. In fact, the first concert I saw was when I was in junior high school. The concert was at Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia. This was the original line up of band members. I saw the band as recently as 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. Gregg's voice was as powerful and as soulful as I have ever heard it. I have often told people that Gregg Allman is one of the most und ...more
Ellen Herbert
Sep 12, 2012 Ellen Herbert rated it liked it
Southern Rock was the embarrassment of growing up in the South until I lived enough to understand the Blues. 'Whipping Post' wore out a few needles on my turntable along the way.

Bittersweet, lovely ride and the voice is as authentic as far as I can tell. Made me pull out a bunch of old Outlaws and Marshall Tucker.
I found this to be honest and fair, you get alot of the pain and tragedy and alot of the love and laughter, but most of all you get the music and it is a gift to us.
Jan 03, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
I have read many autobiographies by musicians and his is one of the best. I broke heavy on Pete Townsend and Carol King for, as I believed, their trying to use too many "big words" in their books. Gregory (he didn't like to be called Gregg) did not. This book is him talking to the reader as if he were sitting down with us, just shootin' the shit. I read it in three days, and loved it.....mgc
Laura Jane
May 07, 2012 Laura Jane rated it it was amazing
Could not put it down! This Macon, Georgia girl loved every word.....thanks, Gregory!
Anthony Valera
Jul 02, 2015 Anthony Valera rated it really liked it
I tried to be opened minded about "My Cross To Bear", but to be honest I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew he didn't write his book by himself--he had a writer partner--and I wasn't sure how much he actually contributed to the writing of the book; I mean, did he cut a CD with just enough pertinent information about his life to have filled his contract with his publishers?
But I must say some of the parts, especially those that involved his brother, Duane, were enjoyable.
It is clear form the star
Carey Shea
Sep 30, 2012 Carey Shea rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Allman Brothers fans
Recommended to Carey by: Found it on the internet
I am a big fan of the Allman Brothers and have been since 1970. I still listen to them. I did not know much about Gregg Allman except he was married to Cher and had a son by her Elijah Blue. I was so glad he came out with this autobiography. I really liked it and learned so much about him. He is still mourning the death of his brother Duane. You can tell it weighs heavy on him. Gregg was a herion addict and did other drugs as well. Then he started drinking really bad. He is now clean and sober a ...more
Jun 02, 2012 Maria rated it it was amazing
After reading the memoir by Gregg Allman, I felt like I spent the weekend with him. The only way you can beat the immediacy in tone would be listening to the audiobook, and having him literally in your ear. (Which I personally had no problem with. Ya dig?)

The memoir is honest, and includes frank descriptions of both joyful and sorrowful moments of Allman's life, such as his writing process, gratitude felt for amazing friendships and blessings, and the anguish felt over his brother Duane's death.
Peter Prasad
Apr 11, 2013 Peter Prasad rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone over 30 with a heartbeat
Recommended to Peter by: my neighborhood book store
A wicked good read! I got the beat in three pages, could hear Gregg on the Hammond after five, then Duane came in with the bottleneck and I liked to pop. He's the only man that can race up and down my spine like that. If you can find Southern Rock on the map, then you'll delight in reading My Cross.

Huzzah Sarasota! The Allmans were our local band at the Armory. It was my first taste of tribal. Now I know why. Rich with detail: who knew Gregg was top in his 7th grade class at military academy; r
May 23, 2012 Patricia rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
I have always been a big fan of Gregg Allman's music, so this new autobiography was a must-read for me. He writes very frankly (& explicitly!) about his life- his triumphs & his screw-ups- you get a good insight into the music business & also his personal life. It's amazing he has survived this long- he has now had a liver transplant & is required to live a quieter life, but it's giving him time to spend with his elderly mother & 5 children ( all with different mothers, inclu ...more
Jun 23, 2012 Rod rated it really liked it
wow, Gregg gives us way too much information about his personal adventures and debaucheries. But that's probably what everyone was paying for when they bought this book.

I just want to know about the music. And that's in here too. Some wonderful compliments about the people he enjoys playing with. And some comments about those he doesn't.

He has an interesting chapter on his spirituality. He thinks he's good enough to make it to heaven. He might want to look into that a little more. Obviously he'
Christine Bode
Jun 12, 2012 Christine Bode rated it it was amazing
It’s no secret that I love music so it goes without saying that I really enjoy reading autobiographies of musicians, and I’ve read quite a few. But none has been as worthy of note, so brutally honest, poignant and impressive as Gregg Allman’s, who with the help of Alan Light, writes about his remarkable life in My Cross to Bear.

“No, I’m no angel
No I’m not stranger to the streets
I’ve got my label
So I won’t crumble at your feet
And I know baby
So I’ve got scars upon my cheek
And I’m half crazy
Come on
Sep 12, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, autobiography
I give this 4 stars as a fan who wanted to hear the inside scoop on the career of Gregg and the Allman Brothers Band. His early life is very interesting, with his unsettled childhood in Nashville and Daytona Beach. His father was murdered while Gregg was still a young boy, and his mother put the brothers into military school, feeling she had no option but to instill something into them. When he discovered the guitar, Gregg actually taught his older brother Duane how to play it and Duane became t ...more
Ray Campbell
Sep 15, 2012 Ray Campbell rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
Well written in the folksy southern style one would expect. Allman is a legend and his stories range from laugh out loud funny to gut wrenching tragedy. My favorite part is hearing the songs in my head while reading about how they were written. When he mentions that folks frequently introduce themselves saying that they were named after an Allman Brothers songs, I remembered many students named Melissa or Jessica who told me they were named after songs. The Allmans have been part of the soundtra ...more
Sep 01, 2012 Lee rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. I read this one at a fast rate because it was very interesting. I notice alot of people tend to make mistakes in their younger years using drugs, drinking, womanizing, etc and it's good to have a happy ending (or close to it) when they get older and manage to turn their life around and finally face those demons and live a healthier life. I emphasize with addicts and others that society tends to frown upon, that is those who can really try and make amends with their f ...more
Oct 27, 2016 Snem rated it really liked it
Continue reading for a completely biased review of this book. It's biased for two reasons: 1) The Allman Brothers might be one of my Dad's top 5 favorite bands so I grew up on their music. It reminds me of my childhood and makes me happy. 2) I had the pleasure of meeting Gregg Allman at the signing for this very book. He was the sweetest, nicest man ever. I fully expected him to suggest we chat more over coffee afterwards. I soon realized he made every person in line that day feel the same way. ...more
Jun 10, 2012 Caterina rated it liked it
It must have taken a lot of courage for this shy man to share his life story with such honesty. In television interviews promoting this book, he seems so reticent and embarrassed he can barely speak - but reading the book is like sitting on the front porch with him, listening to him ramble. The prose is loose and disorganized, but the conversational tone is a plus. A thread of loneliness runs through the story of his life - difficulty in forming close friendships and lasting marriages, the longi ...more
Gregg Allman's autobiography was definitely an interesting read for me, having grown up listening to the Allman Brothers Band. I'm still not too sure what to make of Mr. Allman - or Gregory as he says in the book he prefers to be called. On the one hand he seems like someone who would make a good friend - he'd definitely have your back. But on the other hand, with all the drugs and drinking over the years - he has a ton of baggage and has burned a bunch of bridges. At times his boasting gets a l ...more
John C.
Jul 21, 2012 John C. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unless you have heard of Gregg Allman, or the Allman Brothers Band, this memoir is not for you. It would be hard to not have heard of them however seeing as they have been playing their own brand of Southern Rock for five decades now.
We get a whole lot of Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll between the pages but...what would you expect?
The only thing that kept me reading was in my younger band days we played dozens of Allman Brother Tunes. We even had the opportunity to be the back-up opening act for
Oct 07, 2012 Glennchuck rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
A fascinating look at a fascinating time in rock history. It's told in Allman's voice, bad folksy grammar and all, and about 100 sentences that start or end with ", man" (e.g., "I was looking pretty rough, man."). But it kinda works. I love some Allman Brothers stuff, but I don't consider myself a major fan of the band. Even so, I enjoyed reading about how Gregg ("All my real friends call me 'Gregory'") Allman and his legendary guitar-slinger brother, Duane, learned to play, built their careers, ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: my cross to bear 1 5 Aug 31, 2012 06:50PM  
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Gregory Lenoir Allman, known as Gregg Allman (sometimes spelled Greg Allman), is a rock and blues singer, keyboardist, guitarist, and songwriter, best known as a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 with The Allman Brothers Band, and personally received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
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“It was once said that the blues is nothing more than a good man feeling bad, and that’s what it is. Believe me, singing a blues song makes you feel better afterwards. Singing the blues doesn’t mean that you have them at that minute—the blues usually crawl up on you late at night or early in the morning. You get the blues when someone close to you dies or has an accident or gets sick, or when your dog passes away, and singing is a way of letting go of it.” 0 likes
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