July 25, 2013

Upcoming reel life doesn't move Allman like music does

Gregg Allman performs in Rangeley on Saturday.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Gregg Allman never thought he'd get to this point -- being a rock star so famous that Hollywood would make a movie about him. He claims he's never played that game we all play at some point, the one where we list actors we'd want portraying us in a film.

click image to enlarge

Gregg Allman hopes the actor chosen to star in the film based on his best-selling 2012 memoir, “My Cross to Bear,” will be able to “really sing.”

Courtesy photo

GREGG ALLMAN

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. gates

WHERE: Rangeley Wellness Pavilion, 25 Dallas Hill Road, Rangeley

HOW MUCH: $50; $200 VIP

INFO: 864-4397; Ticketweb.com

But he is clear about one thing: Whichever Hollywood heavyweight they get to play him, the dude better be able to sing.

"That's what I'm most concerned about. Is the guy going to lip sync, or can he really sing?" said Allman, 65. "I want a guy who can play and sing. I know Bruce Willis can. Kevin Costner has a band. I've played with Kevin Bacon."

Open Road Films and Unclaimed Freight Productions announced in May that they are planning to make a film out of Allman's best-selling autobiography, "My Cross to Bear."

But while the filmmakers work to find a leading actor who can sing and maybe try to convince Allman's ex-wife Cher to play herself, Allman's story is far from over.

Like the veteran bluesman he is, he just keeps playing, on whatever stage he can find at the end of the road.

On Saturday, he's playing an outdoor benefit show in remote Rangeley for Rangeley Health and Wellness, a nonprofit organization that promotes healthy living.

"I do a lot of hospital benefits, things like that. Always nice to do," said Allman.

While Allman clearly enjoys playing music, being a movie maker doesn't interest him that much. He says most casting decisions will be "for somebody else to figure out," but he's quick to say he has "total control over the whole thing."

"If something bothers me, I can say something," he said.

The film, which has no release date yet and is just in the beginning phases of production, will include more information than is in the book, Allman said.

For instance, there will be more in the film about the "foot-shooting party" held in his honor so he could get out of the military draft during the Vietnam War.

Allman says he and his brother, Duane, held the party and invited lots of girls. Allman, then 18, shot himself in the foot and got out of the draft. "I had a lot of whiskey, but sure enough, it hurt," he said.

Allman's memoir came out in May 2012 and became a best-seller. It was also listed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the top 25 rock memoirs of all time.

Around the time his book came out, The Allman Brothers Band was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys.

Allman and his late brother Duane fell in love with blues-infused music while growing up in Florida. By the mid-1960s, they had a band, The Allman Joys.

That morphed into The Allman Brothers Band, a pioneering Southern rock band that put a mainstream spotlight on the blues and paved the way for other bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top.

Many Allman Brothers songs are classic rock staples today, including "Ramblin' Man," "Whipping Post" and "Melissa."

After Duane died in a motorcycle crash in 1971, the band continued to have great success throughout the '70s, and have been a premier live act since reuniting in 1989.

And Allman has also had a respectable solo career, charting with hits such as "I'm No Angel" and a re-recording of the Allman Brothers' "Midnight Rider."

In recent years, he's been plagued with health problems, including a battle with hepatitis C (he says he got it from a tattoo needle), which resulted in a liver transplant in 2010. He has since served as a spokesman for organizations that battle the disease.

As for the future, Allman has no definite plans, although he's definite about not ever giving up music.

"I guess the next thing for me is more touring, then back to the studio, though I'm not sure what kind of record that'll be yet," he said. "I'll just keep moving."

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

rrouthier@pressherald.com

 

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