Please Be With Me by Galadrielle Allman

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Please Be With Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman
400 pages; Spiegel & Grau
A charged father-daughter relationship is at the heart of the memoir Please Be With Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman. "Do you even know who Duane Allman is?" a junk-store owner once snarled at author Galadrielle Allman, wresting from her the magazine she was looking at: a yellowed copy of Rolling Stone that featured a story on the late guitar god. Galadrielle, now 44, never did know her father; she was a toddler when his motorcycle hit the back of a flatbed truck in 1971. Her earliest years were spent in a loving communal house of women who wait: wives, girlfriends, "old ladies" of the band's rambling men. All her life since, Galadrielle has contended with the fevered possessiveness of Duane Allman fans. 

Galadrielle's affecting search for her lost father is alternately relentless and tender. (The memoir arrives at a bittersweet time for the legions of Allman Brothers Band loyalists: Gregg Allman, Duane's brother, recently announced that after 45 years, the band's 2014 tour will be their last.) Born with the ultimate backstage pass, Galadrielle's access to Duane's family, bandmates and friends lifts this memoir far above hackneyed Behind the Music fare. Duane Allman was a careless, philandering husband who walked out on his wife and baby, merely saying, "I love you, but I can't do this anymore." But could he play. And his daughter can write—with a balance and an acuteness that do full justice to her parents' story and her father's genius. In the end, Duane's baby girl loves him the best she can.
— Gerri Hershey