The origin story of a groundbreaking album
The 1971 Allman Brothers Band album At Fillmore East was a musical manifesto years in the making. In Play All Night!, Bob Beatty dives deep into the motivations and musical background of band founder Duane Allman to tell the story of what made this album not just a smash hit, but one of the most important live rock albums in history.
Featuring insights from bootleg tapes, radio ads, early reviews, never-before-published photos, and the memories of band members, fans, and friends, Beatty chronicles how Allman rejected the traditional route of music business success—hit singles and record sales—and built a band that was at its best jamming live on stage, feeding off the crowd’s energy, and pushing each other to new heights of virtuosic improvisation. Every challenge, from recruiting a group of relatively unknown but established musicians like Jaimoe and Dickey Betts, touring the American South as an interracial band, and the failure of their first two studio albums, sharpened Allman’s determination to pursue the band’s truly unique sound. He made a bold choice—to record their next album live at Bill Graham’s famous concert hall in New York’s Lower East Side, a gamble that launched a new strand of American music to the top of the charts.
Four days after the album went gold, Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident. He was 24. This book explores how At Fillmore East cemented Allman’s legacy as a strong-willed, self-taught visionary, giving fans of Southern rock and all readers interested in the role of rock music in American popular culture a new appreciation for this pathbreaking album.