“We thought Ramblin’ Man was too country to record. We put it on the album, and it became a hit. Then it more and more became Dickey’s band”: Dickey Betts and Gregg Allman tell the full story of the Allman Brothers Band, one of rock’s greatest groups

Allman Brothers Band
(Image credit: Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images)

In honor of Dickey Betts, who passed away at the age of 80 on April 18 2024, we have been leafing through the archives to unearth some of his best interviews with Guitar World. The following is a comprehensive oral history of the Allman Brothers Band, featuring Betts, Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks, and others who were part of the group's storied career. It was first published in the July 2009 issue.

"The Road Goes on Forever.” Gregg Allman wrote and sang the words in Midnight Rider, and his Allman Brothers Band (ABB) adopted them as a motto, and for good reason: despite the death of two founding members, two breakups and an acrimonious parting with guitarist Dickey Betts, this summer the band is marking its 40th anniversary and doing so in high style.

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Alan Paul

Alan Paul is the author of three books, Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan, One Way Way Out: The Inside Story of the Allman Brothers Band – which were both New  York Times bestsellers – and Big in China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising a Family, Playing the Blues and Becoming a Star in Beijing, a memoir about raising a family in Beijing and forming a Chinese blues band that toured the nation. He’s been associated with Guitar World for 30 years, serving as Managing Editor from 1991-96. He plays in two bands: Big in China and Friends of the Brothers, with Guitar World’s Andy Aledort.