Duane Allman’s 1930s National Duolian

Duane was photographed playing this guitar in the late 60s/early 70s, but according to Gregg Allman, he owned another one – both of which ended up with Gregg after Duane’s death. He later gave one of them to Eric Clapton and the other one to Ronnie Wood. [Gregg Allman: Organic Acoustic, Guitar World Acoustic, p.84][Alan Paul, One Way Out, p. 78]

Based on Chris Darrow’s recollection, it is possible to track down when exactly Duane purchased the first of the two guitars. In August of 1969 ABB was in New York City doing some concerts at Ungano’s and recording their first album. Also in NYC were Linda Ronstadt and the Corvettes (the Corvettes was her backing band at the time) participating in the “Music From Free Creek” project. They stayed at the Chelsea Hotel. Duane bought his first National resonator guitar and contacted Chris Darrow and Bernie Leadon.

(Chris Darrow:) Duane and I kept in touch over time and after I had left the Dirt Band I began to tour with Linda Ronstadt, John Stewart, and Hoyt Axton. While in Linda’s band I usually roomed with Bernie Leadon. While spending a few months in the New York area, we were living at the Chelsea Hotel on 22nd street.

One day I got an exciting call on the phone. It was Duane Allman and he had just gotten his first National resonator guitar and he had to show it to us. He had gotten it at Manny’s Music, as I recall, and he was bursting with enthusiasm. Both Bernie and I were Dobro players and we all ended up sitting around with him taking turns and talking about tunings and technique. Duane was a natural slide player and learned to play real fast. He used a glass Coricidin bottle as a slide for his playing.

Duane Allman’s Posthumous Career Retrospective – By Harvey Kubernik c.2016


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