Duane Allman

Duane Allman and Barry Oakley

In 1971, the guitarist for The Allman Brothers Band and Eric Clapton’s project Derek and the Dominos was killed in a crash while riding his Harley-Davidson Sportster in Macon, GA. Allman, 24, reportedly slowed to let a flatbed truck carrying a huge crane boom make a left-hand turn in front of him. He then swerved toward the center of the road, apparently so he could swing around the outside of the truck; but in the middle of its turn the flatbed suddenly rumbled to a stop. Allman ran right into it. The crane’s weight ball knocked him off his Harley, which bounced up in the air and off of Allman’s chest before skidding to a stop along the curb. The guitarist was not killed instantly – in fact, news reports maintain he had no visible injuries except some bumps and scrapes – but died in surgery later that evening.

Eerily, almost exactly one year later, Barry Oakley, the Allman Brothers Band’s bassist, crashed his Triumph into the side of a Macon city bus, just a few blocks away.