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Skydog - The Duane Allman Story

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  460 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
(Book). The definitive biography of one of the most revered guitarists of his generation. Duane Allman brought white-hot intensity to his life, onstage, in the studio, and beyond. Skydog reveals the complete story of Duane Allman, from his early struggles and his session days, to the formation of the Allman Brothers Band and his tragic early death at age 24. Skydog also in ...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Backbeat Books (first published October 1st 2006)
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M. Sarki
Oct 13, 2012 M. Sarki rated it really liked it
Let it be said that I learned very much from reading this book. I will not be judging the quality of the writing at all but mostly commenting on how great a guitarist Duane Allman was and how skilled he was at noticing other great talents. The fact he only made to twenty-four is a sad statement of the times as he certainly wasn't alone in his self-destructive activities. There was much to be learned from reading this book.
Lawrence A
Very well-written biography of guitarist Duane Allman, and a good chronology of the Allman Brothers Band. I remember what an upset 13-year-old music fan I was when Duane was killed at age 24 in a motorcycle accident in 1971. The Allmans had closed the Fillmore East in June 1971 with an amazing set that was broadcast live on WNEW-FM and WPLJ-FM in NYC, and had played a live set at the WPLJ studio in August 1971. Duane's incredible virtuosity and passion, along with his transcendental and irridesc ...more
Blaine Tyrone
Jan 15, 2008 Blaine Tyrone rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any Music Fan
Recommended to Blaine by: Jason McQueen
It is a shame he is gone!
May 27, 2008 Justin rated it did not like it
A perfectly pathetic attempt at capturing the short life of a man with an energy unparalleled.

Although Duane graced us with a short explosion of existence, it is a pity that this is the defining "story" of a man that had a much more complex life than what is promoted here, a book written with all the eloquence of a middle schooler. It is difficult for ANY writer to capture the intricacies of the short time Duane walked the earth, but is nearly impossible for someone who never had first person
Jan 30, 2010 max rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
This is a workmanlike treatment of a man Rolling Stone recently ranked as the second best guitar player in the world (after Jimi Hendrix). Duane Allman was a musical genius, a player whose chops were unsurpassed. He was devoted to growing and learning as a player and, like Jimi, pushing the boundaries of rock music to places that were altogether new.

The book is a fair and accurate evaluation of his musical life. It is common knowledge that Duane was a passionate individual, a brilliantly talente
David Ward
Oct 24, 2012 David Ward rated it really liked it
Skydog: The Duane Allman Story by Randy Poe (Backbeat Books 2006)(780.92) is a fine book about one of the icons of Southern rock n' roll. Duane Allman, one of the founding members of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, died in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia on October 29, 1971 at the age of twenty-five. He left quite a mark for one so young; Rolling Stone magazine has anointed him as the second-best guitar player of all time behind only Jimi Hendrix. This is also a great book about the ...more
Jeff Crompton
Sep 04, 2013 Jeff Crompton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably unlike most folks who read this book, I don't listen to much rock music. But at some level I've been an Allman Brothers Band fan since I was about 13 - about the time At Fillmore East came out - and in recent years years the ABB in all its incarnations have gained more and more playing time among the jazz, blues, classical, and world music I usually listen to. I picked Randy Poe's book up a couple of years ago, enjoyed reading it, and learned a lot about Duane and the ABB. The later cha ...more
Aug 18, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, biography
Since there aren't any books on the late great Duane Allman other than this one I am aware of, this one as such should be considered definitive. The book explains his life well, from the early death of his father, a decorated war veteran, in a bar fight, to his evolution as a player in bands and a studio musician in Muscle Shoals Alabama, through the formation (and breakup) of his original band wit his brother Gregg, and their reconstitution as the Allman Brothers Band. I feel for myself it was ...more
Marc Turkel
Feb 08, 2015 Marc Turkel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Skydog" by Randy Poe, for me, was an incredibly compelling read, a laser beam account of Duane Allman as a musician and band leader. The events around the beginning of his career, through the voluminous session work he did and around both, the formation of The Allman Bros. and many of their most noteworthy concerts are expertly interwoven. Duane's daughter, Galadrielle Allman, published, "Please Be With Me" and these books together complete a portrait of the musician and the man. Both books ove ...more
May 29, 2008 Vickie rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book about a flawed, but oh so highly talented and driven, rock guitarist and leader of the Allman Brothers Band, the band that is one of the best (if not THE best) Southern rock band.
Duane was only 24 when he died on 29 Oct 1971, but Poe doesn't dwell overly much on Duane's youth, only his amazing talent as one of the best rock guitarists in rock history (second only after Jimi Hendrix) by Roling Stone magazine. Duane brought the Allman Brothers Band to existence after years
Aug 03, 2012 Ken rated it liked it
I just read Gregg Allman's biography, MY CROSS TO BEAR, and Randy Poe's book lacks the personal insights of a founding member, but is much more 'fact based'. Randy Poe provides a wealth of information about the early bands and musicians that later became The Allman Brothers Band. The author is a music industry insider who has tracked down the important people who knew and influenced Duane Allman, and helped to create and develop this most important American band. And, the book contains a compreh ...more
Jan 15, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing
I've been wanting to read this book since I found out about it. I discovered the FSU music library had a copy and went there immediately to pick it up. The research and effort that went into writing Skydog is immense. Every sentence--every word--is pulled from an interview or pulled from an album liner note or a studio log or a newspaper article--how Poe managed to collect this scattered, forgotten information is mind-boggling. For any person with an interest in Southern blues or the evolution o ...more
Jun 13, 2014 J.C. rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Two and a half stars. In my opinion it was slightly better than this. Way to many tangents that attempted to describe the way the guitar playing sounded on a particular record instead of focusing on the (way to short) life of the man. Taken from interviews the author conducted over the course of 30 years, as well as source material from other magazines and books, it feels as hollow as it sounds. The only bonus was I found a few new albums titles to check out. Boz Scaggs here I come!

Mar 24, 2014 Brennan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a fan of the Allman Brothers Band or of blues guitar, this is a great read. While it covers the life of Duane Allman, it focuses primarily on his musical career, including early groups and session work. It covers his personal life somewhat superficially, so it is hard to get a really good understanding of what motivated him and made him the natural band leader that he was. It also touches on his musical influences, but not as much as I would have liked. The book is well written and an ...more
Pamela Montano
Jun 02, 2016 Pamela Montano rated it it was amazing
Excellent biography of the one and only Duane Allman. His time with us was way too short and his impact on us will live on forever. I had no idea of the incredible legacy he left or the vast and varied session work he did. He just loved to play and it didn't matter what the style, jazz, country, rock, southern rock or folk. He loved it all and saw everything as a learning experience. He's one of the greatest guitarists who ever lived. Always willing to teach anyone who wanted to learn and always ...more
Jul 20, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For the serious Duane Allman fan, Poe's book is the definitive biography, pulling no punches. Paints an accurate portrait of Allman with all his human flaws and his genius too. The pictures in this book are amazing. Contributors were everyone who really knew Duane, including childhood friends and most of the musicians who worked with him both in studio and live. A must read for all Southern blues/rock fans.
Ben Eldridge
Jul 19, 2007 Ben Eldridge rated it liked it
Duane Allman is a fantastic guitar player and I've since discovered 'The Fillmore Concerts' live album and have been enjoying it very much.
His complete disregard for his own personal safety when riding his motorbike, of course, results in his premature death.
When someone cuts the chin strap on their helmet before they go riding , then their (tragic) story tends to illicit litte sympathy from readers and fans.
Still, a great player.
Mar 02, 2014 Parreads rated it it was amazing
Excellent! Duane Allman was a genius and a brilliant hardworking guitarist. Since he was already dead by the time I became a fan in 1972 I always felt I "missed out". Now I feel like I have caught up! Duane played with so many musicians and bands it boggles the mind. The book is well researched and written and there is a comprehensive discography for further listening!
Elizabeth Vance
Jul 07, 2011 Elizabeth Vance rated it really liked it
This was really an excellent book! I was only 4 yrs old when Duane Allman died, so he was just a bit "before my time"! This book really made me appreciate and understand his contribution to the music world and it really makes you wonder just how much more could have been accomplished if he had only lived longer.
Sep 08, 2009 Brad rated it really liked it
I didn't really learn anything new, but I can never read enough about Duane. The guy did more living in 24 years, than more than most could do in ten lifetimes. I do like how the book concentrated heavily on Duane's Muscle Shoals period, he is my guitar hero for real.
Rachel Merritt
Jul 17, 2010 Rachel Merritt rated it really liked it
I was surprised at how interested I was in this! Everytime I picked it up, I had a hard time putting it down. I love memoirs, and this one is right at the top of my list. I think I will read Midnight Riders next to learn a little about the rest of the Allman Brothers.
Mike Mitchell
Mar 11, 2014 Mike Mitchell rated it really liked it
One of the better rock bios I've read. Of course, if the Allman's aren't your cup of tea this would likely hold little interest. It runs out of steam after Duane and Barry die but that's not hard to fathom. Slap on Fillmore East and dig in.
Phil Wright
Sep 10, 2008 Phil Wright rated it really liked it
Loved this book. Really went into the foundations of the sound. Also touched on Duane's prowess as a player and his influence on and by the Muscle Schoals sound. Found the parts about Clapton and co to be very revealing and interesting. The loss of DA is still tragic.
Geoffrey Fisher
Sep 07, 2008 Geoffrey Fisher added it
Recommends it for: fans of Duane Allman
Fans of DA will find the book worth reading. It's not a great biography, but it has some decent stuff in it. I knew DA was a one-of-a-kind player, but I learned he was also a hoss - one hard working dude. Too bad his life was cut short. The man could play like nobody's business.
Drew Athans
Feb 26, 2014 Drew Athans rated it really liked it
My full and detailed review of the books can be found on my site:

This was a very good biography on a legendary guitarist who was an interesting character...someone who is sorely missed by all who knew him.
Richard Myers
Jan 16, 2016 Richard Myers rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book with so many backstories that made me stop reading and go to You Tube to find the video of the music to listen for the descriptions mentioned in the book. I listened to all the songs mentioned in the book to find Duane's part. This is a book that every musician should read.
Joan-josep Vallbe
Aug 10, 2013 Joan-josep Vallbe rated it really liked it
This is a fine work of musical journalism. I was terribly disappointed by Gregg Allman's autobiography, but Poe's work is one of thorough knowledge and research on the matter.
Ak-75 Harris
Apr 05, 2013 Ak-75 Harris rated it liked it
Lots of details—the ones about Duane's early life and career are invaluable—but pretty short on insight into the personalities of everyone involved.
Aug 25, 2008 Paul rated it liked it
Shelves: music, biography
As much a story of the Allman Brothers as Duane himself. Very interesting if you're a fan
Nov 29, 2014 Jerry rated it liked it
My rating is 3.5. Very informative book. A must read for ABB fans.
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