Duane Allman’s 1960s Gibson Heritage

access_time First seen circa 1969

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). The guitar is mentioned in a letter that Duane sent to Holly Barr, Ralph Barr’s wife (Ralph Barr was guitar player for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band). This same letter was recently auctioned at Bonham’s – see Duane Allman: A three-page letter and envelope.

Duane 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 taken sometime in early October 1971 in California by Jim Marshall, with John Hammond on the J-45 and Duane on his Dobro, while the other one is of Duane alone holding the J-45 from around the period he worked as a session musician (probably early 1969).

Unfortunately, at this time we’re not able to show the photos, but a quick Google search (search “Duane Allman acoustic”) should return you both of them.

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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 1969

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 […]

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 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 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 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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