A large portion of the Allman Brothers Band's final concert with leader and guiding force Duane Allman has been finally released today (October 16th). The album — which was recorded only 12 days before Allman's deadly motorcycle crash — is titled, The Final Note, and features seven songs from the Allmans’ October 17th, 1971 concert in Owings Mill, Maryland. The cassette tape was discovered by a young radio journalist at the time, named Sam Idas, who was at the show that night to interview the band. Duane Allman died on October 24th, 1971 at the age of 24.
Idas said in a statement, “My only intention was to record the interview. This was a brand-new cassette recorder with an internal microphone, and I had one 60-minute cassette tape. I was sitting there with the recorder in my lap, and I remember thinking 'Why don’t I try this out? I can record the concert!' It was a totally spontaneous decision. I’d been to many concerts, but this was the only time I had the thought — and the motivation — to record the show.”
Galadrielle Allman (pronounced GOLLA-dree-ELL), the daughter of Duane Allman, recently published the biography Please Be With Me: A Song For My Father. Galadrielle helped compile the recent seven-disc set, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, and told us she doesn't read too much into her father's fatal motorcycle crash on October 29th, 1971: “I really resist making meaning out of his death or saying there was a reason for it. Like he had to. . . his time was up, or that he knew his time was up — or any of that. Y’know, I think, it’s a tragic accident and a meaningless accident. And I’m just not one to sort of be accepting of that. I just think it’s a true tragedy.”