Play All Night

The origin story of a groundbreaking album—At Fillmore East.

Book cover of Play All Night with Duane Allman playing guitar on the front.

Duane Allman and the Journey to Fillmore East

Author: Bob Beatty
Page count: 272
Publication Date: 10/18/22
Format: Paperback

Duane Allman’s musical vision

The 1971 Allman Brothers Band album At Fillmore East was a musical manifesto years in the making. In Play All Night!, author Bob Beatty dives deep into the motivations and musical background of band founder Duane Allman to tell the story of what made this album not just a smash hit, but one of the most important live rock albums in history.      

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Why another Allman Brothers book?

Different from other books on the band, Play All Night! is the biography of a sound, highlighting Duane's musical vision and the ways At Fillmore East demonstrates how he and his bandmates brought that vision to life. Featuring insights from bootleg tapes, radio ads, early reviews, never-before-published photos, and the memories of band members, fans, and friends, Beatty chronicles how Allman rejected the traditional route of music business success—hit singles and record sales—and built a band that was at its best jamming live on stage, feeding off the crowd’s energy, and pushing each other to new heights of virtuosic improvisation.

Every challenge, from recruiting a group of relatively unknown but established musicians like Jaimoe and Dickey Betts, touring the American South as an interracial band, and the failure of their first two studio albums, sharpened Allman’s determination to pursue the band’s truly unique sound. He made a bold choice—to record their next album live at Bill Graham’s famous concert hall in New York’s Lower East Side, a gamble that launched a new strand of American music to the top of the charts.  

Duane Allman’s legacy

This book explores how At Fillmore East cemented Allman’s legacy as a strong-willed, self-taught visionary, giving fans of Southern rock and all readers interested in the role of rock music in American popular culture a new appreciation for this pathbreaking album.  

Close up of road case used on the  cover of the Fillmore East album cover

At Fillmore East road case on display at the Big House Museum

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To my fellow ABB fans, I approached this book with you in mind. It was my goal to offer some new insights, and to aggregate the personal stories with some historical context and material that has yet to make it into other books about the band.

Music obsessive. History Geek. Southerner. Guitar Player. Public Historian. Teacher. Writer. Fan, Bob Beatty grew up devouring his mom’s Beatles’ and dad’s Hank Williams and bluegrass records. Throughout his life he’s interwoven his love of punk rock, the Allman Brothers Band, and the Jam Depression collective as a historian, fan, and musician and it was only a matter of time that enduring passion culminated in a Ph.D. and publication of Play All Night! Duane Allman and the Journey to Fillmore East.