“This year I will be more thoughtful of my fellow man, exert more effort in each of my endeavors, professionally as well as personally. Take love wherever I find it, and offer it to everyone who will take it.
In this coming year I will seek knowledge from those wiser than me and try to teach those who wish to learn from me. I love being alive and I will be the best man I possibly can.” January 1, 1969, Duane Allman
I first heard this song on the Duane Allman ‘An Anthology’ album which sports what must be the coolest cover ever for any fishing loving music fan – a lean and mean looking Duane Allman, one of the greatest guitar players of all time, pictured casting a line on the swampy shores of Lake Bradford, Florida.
The songwriting, harmonies and musicianship, particularly the dobro playing of Duane himself, on this track are sublime and so pure. If you listen to the full album there is a great snippet of conversation amongst the musicians at the start of the song that gives a real authenticity to what must have been an incredible and spontaneous recording session.
Duane was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident aged only 24 years old, but left an indelible mark on popular music. His incredible guitar tone, improvisational skills and mastery of slide guitar have influenced generations of guitarists across the world, from bedroom players to ‘gods’ such as Eric Clapton (with whom Duane recorded the seminal album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs as Derek and the Dominoes).
However, as importantly as his guitar playing Duane is remembered for his personal qualities and, being a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band – one of the first mixed-race rock groups, as a force for racial integration in the Southern states of the USA.
I recently found Duane Allman’s new year’s resolution from 1969 (see above), which includes some timeless sentiments that we all could take heed of sometimes.
Happy New Year, Adam.