The Big House
The Big House is located at 2321 Vineville Avenue, Macon, GA. In 1969 it was for rent, and by January 1970, it became the house where members of the band, their roadies, friends and families lived until 1973. It was the focal point of gathering in those early years when the magic that is the Allman Brothers Band was just taking shape and radiating from this historic Southern town.
Linda, Candy, and Donna saw the ad for the house on Vineville Avenue and went over there to check it out. They were dazzled and enchanted by this large, three-story Grand Tudor house with its double lot surrounded by gardens filled with blooming wisteria, and fountains and a fishpond in the backyard. It was an elegant, majestic home with big sunny rooms filled with light, high ceilings, stained glass windows, fireplaces galore, a crystal chandelier and French doors. It captured their imagination; the three women saw their future in this place and plotted to make it theirs.
Linda and Berry designed the music room and Linda hitchhiked to Atlanta to get the stereo. She put Indian prints on the walls and made it a warm and comfortable haven. The three stained-glass windows, along with Linda’s loving touches, made this a special spot for her and Berry. They had a private bathroom between this room and their bedroom and one of the unique features was a huge walk-in shower perfect for a couple, or a couple of couples, which she mentioned did occur from time to time!
The three women and two children were the real permanent residents of this house. Brittany and Galadrielle had the run of the place; their tiny footsteps would echo down through the hallways. There was always music in the house; Linda remembers getting up in the morning and putting on Miles Davis and gathering the women and children in the kitchen for a quiet breakfast. It was very idyllic. The band was gone most of the time and the women created a place of beauty and a retreat for their men to return to after their rough times on the road.
The idyllic life was suspended when the guys came off the road. Linda said it was like a big reunion, and a honeymoon for the couples. Party time would start and the band would jam.
On the first floor, past the parlor, through the French doors, what was originally the sunroom suited the band’s purpose perfectly. This area was transformed into the music room – Duane put batting on the walls to muffle the sound, and they set up their instruments and equipment and practiced and jammed into the night.
Dixie came to the house and stayed for a while after Duane died, and in February of 1972, Dixie, Candy, and Linda all went to Jamaica together. When they returned Dixie went back to Atlanta.
Berry tried to keep the vibe going, but something died in him with Duane’s death. He told Linda that the hellhounds were on his trail. He began having nightmares and was drawn more and more to the dark blues of Robert Johnson and Elmore James. Then sadly, Berry followed Duane to the grave a little over a year later on a motorcycle on the streets of Macon.
Well, all that has certainly changed. The Allman Brothers Band reformed as a group in 1989 and it has been a great ride for the band and their fans ever since. Then in June of 1994, Warren Haynes, Matt Abts and Allen Woody took up residence at the Big House. They took over the Archive rooms and set up their instruments and equipment and rehearsed for eight days before they headed out to do their first shows as Gov’t Mule.
The Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House guarantees that the dreams, music, and legacy created so long ago by the band will live on; your support of the Big House Foundation makes this possible, and we thank you for your contributions.