Howard Duane Allman was an American guitarist, session musician, and the co-founder and primary leader of The Allman Brothers Band until his death in a motorcycle accident in 1971 at the age of 24.
The Allman Brothers Band was formed in 1969 and based in the Southeastern United States. In the early 1970s, the band was hugely successful. Allman is best remembered for his brief but influential tenure in the band and in particular for his expressive slide guitar playing and inventive improvisational skills. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Allman at #2 in their list of “the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” second only to Jimi Hendrix. His tone (achieved with a Gibson Les Paul and two 50-watt bass Marshall amplifiers) was named one of the greatest guitar tones of all time by Guitar Player.
A sought-after session musician both before and during his tenure with the band, Duane Allman performed with such established stars as King Curtis, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and Herbie Mann. He also contributed heavily to the 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and the Dominos.
Duane Allman’s skills as a guitarist were complemented by personal qualities such as his intensity, drive and ability to draw the best out of others in making music. He is still referred to by his nickname “Skydog.”