GREGG ALLMAN’s Longtime Manager MICHAEL LEHMAN Recalls Singer’s Final Days - “As Things Started To Slow Down And We Knew That His Life Was Coming To A Close, We Started Talking About Preserving His Legacy”
May 29, 2017, a month ago
Gregg Allman, who passed away Saturday (May 27th) due to complications from liver cancer, was a co-founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band and a peerless pioneer of Southern rock - and by extension the entire jam-band movement, reports Variety.
Yet when he joined forces with his longtime manager Michael Lehman in 2004, his contributions and legacy were under-recognized and his business affairs were not in optimal shape. Lehman got to work on changing that, and over the past dozen-odd years Allman not only toured regularly, he released four solo albums - including 2011’s Grammy-nominated Low Country Blues and the forthcoming Southern Blood, due in September - established the Laid Back music festival in partnership with Live Nation, held the All My Friends career-retrospective concert in 2015, and established music scholarships at both the University of Georgia and through Syracuse University’s Bandier Program. In the process the two became not just close business partners but also close friends, and on Sunday Lehman shared memories from those years with Variety.
Variety: What were the last few months with Gregg like?
Michael Lehman: “I last saw him a couple of weeks ago, and we’d spent a lot of time together over the past couple of years at his place in North Florida as well as his home in Savannah [Georgia]. We talked about music, friendship, the arts, his relationship with his kids [Allman had five children, all but one of whom are musicians]. If his kids weren’t there we’d Facetime with them. And as things started to slow down and we knew that his life was coming to a close, we started talking about preserving his legacy, and especially the new record, “Southern Blood” — that made him light up. It was my goal to make sure it would be a big, special album, even though that it became clear that Gregg wasn’t necessarily going to be able to promote it, even if he was here, and that was something we were going to be prepared for.”
Read the full interview at Variety.com.