Matheson History Museum hosts book conference by author Bob Beatty Allman Brothers Band

Whether it was fate or mere chance, author Bob Beatty said it was a spooky, cool and complete moment when he finished his new book, which focuses on Duane Allman, on the 50th anniversary of the music legend’s death.

Certainly no coincidence, Gainesville was the first stop on her Florida book tour.

Beatty made his presentation Wednesday night at the Matheson History Museum to a crowd of about 40 people. During the conference, he discussed the process of writing his new book, which was released this month and is called “Play All Night!: Duane Allman and the Journey to Fillmore East.”

Duane Allman was a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, one of the most famous bands of the early 1970s. The band was among the most important pioneers of the Southern rock genre and one of the earliest jamming bands leading.

Beatty also spoke about the history of the ABB, the legacy of their seminal 1971 live album “At Fillmore East” and the death of Duane Allman months later at the age of 24. Other places on his itinerary are Winter Park, Lakeland, his native Stuart. and Miami.

Both of Beatty’s parents were UF students who raised him as an avid Gator, he said. Although he lives in Nashville, Tennessee, he said he retains a deep attachment to Gainesville, which is also a few dozen miles from where ABB was founded in Jacksonville.

“I’m really happy to be in Gainesville to do my first talk on this book, because of what this city means to my family,” he said.

The book is the product of Beatty’s fervent fandom for the ABB, whose music has fascinated him for decades.

“It was the music that absolutely captured my soul,” he said. “My approach to music is almost weird to some people because it’s so deep.”

A historian who has worked with museums and published extensively throughout his career, Beatty said this recent project posed the unique challenge of having to, as he described it, put his “fanboy” aside. The book’s preface begins with an immediate admission of bias towards the ABB, which it ranks among the greatest groups of all time.

“I think the best thing to do is to acknowledge your biases, recognize what they are, and do your best to shape something that takes that into account,” he said. “I owned it from the start, I had to find a way not to look like a cheerleader.”

Kaitlyn Hof-Mahoney, the executive director of the Matheson, said she was delighted to host the event after reading Beatty’s work.

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“When we got to take a look at Bob’s book, he just did a really fascinating job of sharing their story,” she said.

Beatty’s speech also goes hand-in-hand with the museum’s current exhibit Return to Forever: Gainesville’s Great Southern Music Hall, which focuses on a local concert hall that rose to prominence in the 1970s. Hof-Mahoney said noted the pride the citizens of Gainesville have for the city’s deep cultural history.

“The people of Gainesville and this area really appreciate music history,” she said. “It’s just something that’s really part of the fabric of our community and people are really passionate and excited about it.”

Among the audience was Kenny Jones, a 69-year-old pensioner who said he learned things he had never known before as a huge ABB fan and a Southern rock player himself. the band’s signature genre.

“It was awesome,” he said. “This guy brought up things I’ve never seen, pictures I’ve never seen, facts I’ve never heard of before.”

David Hammer, 68, who was also in the audience, said the entire crowd was captivated throughout Beatty’s presentation.

“Tonight’s lecture was fascinating,” he said. “I was interested that Bob kept saying, ‘Oh, I’ll let you go, I’ll let you go.’ This crowd would have stayed an hour longer.

Contact Ben Crosbie at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @benHcrosbie.

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Angela C. Hale