Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Cross to Bear” as Want to Read:
My Cross to Bear
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Cross to Bear

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  2,437 ratings  ·  395 reviews
As one of the greatest rock icons of all time, Gregg Allman has lived it all and then some. For almost fifty years, he's been creating some of the most recognizable songs in American rock, but never before has he paused to reflect on the long road he's traveled. Now, he tells the unflinching story of his life, laying bare the unvarnished truth about his wild ride that has ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by William Morrow
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Cross to Bear, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about My Cross to Bear

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
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

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
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
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
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
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
"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
Ellen Herbert
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.
Ron Hummer
My thought when I was going to read this book was to learn about the Allman Brothers. Being that they were a southern rock band, I thought at the very lest that I would hear stories about Marshall Tucker, Charlie Daniels, or my favorite southern rock band, The Outlaws. None of that happened. It was one of the many reasons that I was disappointed in this book.
Much of the book was nothing more than Greg rambling with various quick stories about himself and his life with The Allman Brothers. The
Laura Jane
Could not put it down! This Macon, Georgia girl loved every word.....thanks, Gregory!
Anthony Valera
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
Joel Brown
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
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.
Carey Shea
Sep 30, 2012 Carey Shea rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Not the most well- written book I've ever read but overall a good read. I saw Gregg Allman promote the book on The Colbert Report. Even though I've seen The Allman Brothers at The Beacon Theater on NYC, I haven't given them, particularly Gregg, any conscious thought. Truthfully I always thought he was a little dim, and was pleasantly surprised to find out I was wrong. I'm not sure what I expected from this book but came away feeling somewhat satisfied. I'm generally not a fan of autobiographies ...more
Peter Prasad
Apr 11, 2013 Peter Prasad rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
I loved this autobiography! It felt like Gregory was sitting next to me, telling me his stories. It's very well written, honest and revealing for a memoir of this type. I came to the Allman Brothers Band later in life, more through my interest in more contemporary jam bands like Gov't Mule, Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler and the like. they all covered the ABB. I also loved the movie "Almost Famous" which is loosely based on this band's drug-addled, highly-sucessful heyday.

Gregg's memoir deliv
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
Christine Bode
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
John C.
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
My wife and I met at the University of Florida. Our first date was an Allman Brothers Band concert at Tampa Stadium in the early '70s. We saw them live another 11 times. To say they were our favorite band is an understatement. I still frequently listen to their first four albums. But one can like the music but not necessarily the musicians. And that is how I felt about Greg Allman, and this book does nothing to change that feeling. As rock autobiographies go, if you love the Allman Brothers Band ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Skydog - The Duane Allman Story
  • Heaven And Hell: My Life In The Eagles (1974 2001)
  • One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band
  • Midnight Riders: The Story of the Allman Brothers Band
  • Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page
  • The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret
  • Crazy from the Heat
  • Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock
  • When I Left Home: My Story
  • Ronnie
  • Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream
  • Who I Am
  • Across the Great Divide: The Band and America
  • This Wheel's on Fire: Levon Helm and the Story of the Band
  • Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life
  • Enter Night: A Biography of Metallica
  • Stone Alone: The Story of a Rock 'n' Roll Band
  • Chinaberry Sidewalks
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.
More about Gregg Allman...
Midnight Rider Take 2 Solo Years 1973-1997: One More Silver Dollar Classic Gregg Allman (Including the Hits of the Allman Brothers Band): Authentic Guitar Tab Melissa

Share This Book

“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
More quotes…