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Thread: My Man originally about Duane Allman?

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    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default My Man originally about Duane Allman?

    Has anyone ever heard that "My Man" was begun as a song about Duane Allman which later morphed into a song about Gram Parsons? I have read it in one source, but I can't confirm it. Perhaps I'm missing something?

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    Moderator Ive always been a dreamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Man originally about Duane Allman?

    Very interesting Soda, but nope, I've never heard this before.

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    Default Re: My Man originally about Duane Allman?

    Hadn't heard about this but it makes sense as Bernie was buddies with Duane from his Florida days (as was Felder). Perhaps he originally wrote it for him but it evolved into a Gram tribute.

    What makes me consider this is the opening lyrics about "rollin' so fast that your spinning your wheels", perhaps referring to Duane's fatal motorcycle crash.

    Of course, the lyrical mention of "that old hickory wind" is definitely a reference to Gram ("Hickory Wind" is a choice cut from the Parsons-era Byrds LP Sweetheart of the Rodeo).

    Wish we had a way to ask Bernie, but the guy lays pretty low these days.
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    Default Re: My Man originally about Duane Allman?

    Some of the lyrics are about the dead artist's voice 'he'd sing for the people and people would cry'. I thought Duane Allman was a guitarist, whereas Parsons is revered for his voice (although it is too scratchy and occasionally out of tune for my taste, emotional though it can be to hear).

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    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Man originally about Duane Allman?

    Here's a quote from Henley about it:

    “‘My Man’ was written by Bernie about Duane Allman because he and Duane used to be friends and every time Duane would see him he’d say, ‘Hey, My Man.’ And then Gram died and it got written into the thing as well.” (John Tobler, Rock On, BBC Radio One, 1977)

    Hmmm! Funny thing is, I've never read Bernie himself saying this. Too bad he lays so low, but I guess he figures if he's got nothing to promote, why bother?

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    Default Re: My Man originally about Duane Allman?

    Quote Originally Posted by sodascouts View Post
    Here's a quote from Henley about it:

    “‘My Man’ was written by Bernie about Duane Allman because he and Duane used to be friends and every time Duane would see him he’d say, ‘Hey, My Man.’ And then Gram died and it got written into the thing as well.” (John Tobler, Rock On, BBC Radio One, 1977)

    Hmmm! Funny thing is, I've never read Bernie himself saying this. Too bad he lays so low, but I guess he figures if he's got nothing to promote, why bother?
    hmm, that is pretty interesting.... Jackson Browne dedicated "these days" to Gregg A.... I know that Bernie knew Duane...

    okay, well, I'll share what I think about Henley's comments...

    Gram was drunk one night and said some brutal stuff about the Eagles (basically that they sucked)... there is NO doubt that Henley heard about it (it was in all the papers) and there is NO doubt that Glenn and Don were heavily influenced by Gram... so, it had to hurt pretty bad....

    I'd bet that Don knows that the song is about Gram (since Bernie actually played in a couple of bands with Gram and never with Duane) but is intentionally clouding the waters to discourage any mention of Gram... (why would the Eagles do a song about a guy who disrespected the Eagles? rhetorical question)

    That would be my thought... that Don is being petty. (it also fits his personality at times.)
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    Default Re: My Man originally about Duane Allman?

    Quote Originally Posted by bernie's bender View Post
    I'd bet that Don knows that the song is about Gram (since Bernie actually played in a couple of bands with Gram and never with Duane) but is intentionally clouding the waters to discourage any mention of Gram... (why would the Eagles do a song about a guy who disrespected the Eagles? rhetorical question)

    That would be my thought... that Don is being petty. (it also fits his personality at times.)
    There's a Circus Magazine interview with the Eagles from 1974 when they were actively promoting On the Border, you'll see they not only talk about "My Man" being about Gram, but also that "Good Day in Hell" is about him... a Frey/Henley composition. In light of that, it doesn't seem to make much sense that Don would shamelessly lie to diminish Gram's role as an inspiration years later. How pointless would that be?

    Yeah, there's Gram's infamous "plastic dry ****" quote. But I remember a fan of his telling me once that Gram was referring more to the genre of what was labeled "county-rock" than the Eagles per se (although admittedly they exemplified it), and that additionally he often said harsh things impulsively that he would later take back or soften.

    Regardless, Bernie doesn't seem to have held a grudge, so why do we assume Don would? I'm sure that there have been occasions when Don has behaved in a petty fashion, but who hasn't? My attitude is that since I don't know Don personally, I can't really make judgments regarding his personality, and so I give him the benefit of the doubt.

    It is possible, however, that Don perhaps got a mistaken impression from an offhand remark Bernie made about Allman calling him "my man" or something like that.

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    Default Re: My Man originally about Duane Allman?

    I'm gonna take Henley's quote at face value that it was originally written about Bernie's old buddy Duane and that when Gram died "it got written into the thing as well". Probably an old song that Bernie had kicking around and Gram's death was the inspiration he needed to finish it.

    As far as Gram bad-mouthing the Eagles, I'm certain that their was a great deal of jealousy by Gram at the ease in which the Eagles found success, and of the commercialization of the genre he helped to shepherd. But Bernie and Gram were always good friends. Bernie guested on Gram's last solo effort Grievous Angel in the summer of '73 so I'm sure his death a few months later affected him greatly.

    Ultimately, I think the criticisms of the Eagles bothered Bernie the most. He was often quoted as saying that the band had "sold-out" and that he wasn't interested in the rockstar lifestyle that the other members seemed to lap up.
    High up on his own, the Eagle flies alone and he is free...

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