Gregg Allman’s 70th Birthday Marked with ‘Song for Adam’ Video
Fans can commemorate what would have been Gregg Allman's 70th birthday today by watching a video for his cover of Jackson Browne's "Song for Adam," above. "Song for Adam" is featured on Gregg Allman's posthumously released final album Southern Blood. He died in May.
Like Browne's ballad, the emotional clip follows a narrative split between the present and the past. Director Erica Silverman explores the friendship between two bikers who lose touch, until one learns the other has died by suicide.
"We worked hard on this little video, shooting in multiple cities all over Texas. I grew up listening to the Allman Brothers, and couldn't believe the opportunity," Silverman told Rolling Stone. "Gregg and his music represent so much to so many different people. I hope the video carries an ounce of his spirit. This is for you Gregg. I miss you; we all miss you."
Allman told Southern Blood producer Don Was that he selected Browne's track for the record because a key lyric ("still, it seems he stopped singing in the middle of his song") reminded him of his late brother, Duane Allman. But an emotional Gregg "wasn't able to finish the verse," Was said. "He never got the last two lines. I know he was thinking about his brother. We all decided, 'Let's not fix it.'"
Browne also contributed vocals to this new take on "Song for Adam," which was originally released on his self-titled debut album in 1972. "He and Don Was sent it to me to sing on, and I did," Browne told Rolling Stone in May after Allman's death. "That song, the way he sang it and where he sang it from – at the end of his life – well, he completed that song, and gave it a resonance and a gravity that could only have been put there by him."
The tune was written for Adam Saylor, a friend with whom Browne drove from California to New York in 1967. Saylor continued his travels to Europe, and died the following year after a jump or fall from a hotel in Mumbai.
By then, Browne and Allman had became friends. Hour Glass, the pre-Allmans band Gregg was in with Duane Allman, recorded Browne's "Cast Off All My Fears" for their 1967 debut record. Gregg later included a new arrangement of Browne's "These Days" on his 1973 solo album Laid Back.