Duane Allman’s 1930s National Duolian

access_time First seen circa 1969

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 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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access_time 1969

1930s Dobro Wood-body

Duane bought this guitar in 1969 from George Gruhn (GTR, Fourth Avenue, Nashville) for $350. The guitar was made by a Chicago-based company called Regal, that manufactured resonator guitars licensed by Dobro. I remember selling a Dobro to Duane Allman in 1969. At that time, a fancy Dobro was only $350. And Duane paid me at the rate of $50 every other week. Music was not a lucrative career for him at that time. […]

access_time 1967

1960s Gibson J-45

This guitar didn’t actually belong to Duane but to his brother Gregg, but due to the historical importance, we decided to include it in the list nonetheless. Duane gave this Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar to Gregg after trading it for his Telecaster that he played at the time. To learn more about the Telecaster, please visit our article about Duane Allman’s 1950s Fender Telecaster. He [Duane] traded his main road-ax – […]

access_time 1970

1940s Kalamazoo KGN-12

Duane was photographed playing this guitar in his hotel room in Spartanburg, South Carolina on October 17, 1970. Unfortunately, aside from those photos, the guitar is practically a mystery. From the looks of it, it appears to be a vintage Kalamazoo, model KGN-12, but we haven’t been able to find any background story behind it. It could’ve been just something Duane picked up while on to the road. Embed from Getty Images

access_time 1970

Martin D-18

According to Gregg Allman, Duane oned a Martin D-18 that looked “very dark – sort of dark mahogany color”. [Gregg Allman: Organic Acoustic, Guitar World Acoustic, p.84][Alan Paul, One Way Out, p. 79] Unfortunately, since that is the only time that this guitar has ever been mentioned by anyone, there’s really nothing else to be said about it. We don’t know whether Duane actually used it, how long he had […]

access_time 1969

1960s Gibson Dove

Duane was seen with this guitar on a photo of him sleeping right next to it, taken at a hotel room sometime in the late 60s or early 70s. That photo is the only instance where Duane was pictured with the guitar, so we can’t say for sure that it was he himself who owned it. This particular Gibson acoustic is easily identifiable by the white dove on the pickguard, which is of […]

access_time 1969

1960s Gibson Heritage

According to Galadrielle Allman [Galadrielle Allman, Please Be With Me, p. 182] Duane bought this guitar together with his Les Paul Goldtop and a Marshall amp, probably sometime in early to mid-1969 (the exact date of purchase is unknown). He was seen with the guitar on two photos in total – although it is impossible to confirm whether this is actually one exact same J-45 or two of them. One of the photos was […]

access_time 1970

Gibson Archtop Acoustic

According to Gregg Allman, Duane owned an old Gibson acoustic. Based on Gregg’s statement, this guitar had an oval hole and was an archtop. Unfortunately, beyond these two pieces of information, the guitar is a mystery. Duane also had an old Gibson acoustic with an oval hole and an arch-top. I’ve got that one. Dickey has Duane’s National in his living room. [Guitar Player magazine, Jas Obrecht, Duane Allman Remembered, October […]

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