It wasn’t too long ago that I was perusing through the links at Georgia Daily Digest and came upon a story from Macon, Georgia involving the Allman Brothers Band and the resting places of bassist Berry Oakley and Duane Allman at Rosehill Cemetary.
I love listening to the Allman Brothers…..their music reminds me of certain events and people from my past. Southern rock and and very Southern past---they go hand in hand with me.
The dream that all of the members of the Allman Brothers Band would survive the 70s, 80s, 90s and still be cranking out great Southern rock into the 21st century came to an abrupt halt when Duane and Berry were killed in separate motorcycle accidents one year apart. Yes, they still tour and music is still played, but....
I’m sure my husband and I are like many folks that still maintain Allman Brothers records and even a few 8-tracks for keepsakes, but many fans are drawn to Rosehill…not to say a prayer or leave a flower, but to get down and party which means, of course, drinking, dancing, and even going so far as to having sex graveside per Candace Oakley, Berry's sister.
Over the years Ms. Oakley has cleaned liquor bottles, cigarette butts, condom wrappers, and even cleaned up crayon markings from the headstones. The crayon marks were left behind as fans made rubbings of the text on each headstone which are also stained from the many bottles of liquor that have been poured over each grave. Angel statues that originally adorned the gravesites were taken years ago by adoring fans, and vandals have even gone so far as attempting to break into the vaults.
Candace Oakley has battled with the Macon City Council for years in an attempt to place some sort of barrier or fence around the graves. A chain link fence Ms. Oakley had erected a few years ago was torn down by the city. Recently she requested another fence more in keeping with the appearance of the cememtary.
While I certainly wouldn’t mind visting the cemetary the next time I head towards Macon, Georgia I prefer to remember the fallen Allman Brothers Band members in this way:
Associated links you might find interesting:
I know it’s Wikipedia, but there are great links here.
Scroll down at this site for more info on the gravesites.
Here is an article on the Allman and Berry fence fund
The fence fund MySpace Page and the main page for the Fence Fund.