Video from a Live Talks Los Angeles event with Gregg Allman discussing his memoir, My Cross to Bear, with journalist Alan Light. Event was held May 15, 2012 at The Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, CA. To learn more about Live Talks Los Angeles, visit livetalksla.org
Gregg Allman is a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band and in his own storied solo career, he has long been a gifted natural interpreter of the blues, his soulful and distinctive voice is one of the defining sounds in the history of American music. His 2011 Low Country Blues marked the legendary Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s seventh solo recording and first in more than 13 years. Like any genuine bluesman, Allman’s own life has been colored by myriad triumphs and too many tragedies. Low Country Blues was initially slated for a mid-2010 release, but that plan changed when Gregg, who had long battled chronic Hepatitis C, was notified that he was a candidate for a liver transplant. In June 2010, he entered the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida where he successfully underwent the difficult surgery. Knowing that he had only just made one of the defining albums of his recorded career proved to be the best medicine, giving Allman the inner strength he needed to fully heal. At this year’s 54th Annual Grammy Awards, the Allman Brothers Band was honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, and Low Country Blues received a nomination for Best Blues Album. Allman’s upcoming memoir chronicling the highs and lows of his legendary life and music is My Cross to Bear.
Alan Light has been one of America’s leading music journalists for the past twenty years. Currently, he is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and Rolling Stone; a columnist for msn.com; and the Director of Programming for “Live from the Artists Den,” a concert series now in its fourth season on PBS. Alan is the co-author of Gregg Allman’s forthcoming memoir, My Cross to Bear.
Alan was the founding music editor (1993-’94) and editor-in-chief (’94-’97) of the urban culture monthly Vibe. He then served as the editor-in-chief of Spin magazine from January 1999 until March 2002. His most recent publishing position was editor-in-chief and co-founder of Tracks, a magazine dedicated to “Music Built to Last” that published from November 2003 to April 2005. Before coming to Vibe in 1993, Alan was a Senior Writer at Rolling Stone, where he began working in 1989. He has interviewed and profiled artists including U2, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, and Prince. Alan’s writing has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Mother Jones, and the Oxford American. Alan is a two-time winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music journalism.
In addition, since 2003 he has overseen “Live From Home,” a monthly music series, for the Housing Works organization, a group fighting AIDS and homelessness in New York City. The series has presented such performers as John Mellencamp, Bjork, the Black Keys, Lyle Lovett, John Mayer, Tracy Chapman, Ryan Adams, and Bright Eyes. He serves as co-chairman of the board for the Housing Works Bookstore Café.