The Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House
Known as the “Big House,” the Allman Brothers Band Museum is an interactive museum dedicated to the 1970s southern rock group, the Allman Brothers Band. Originally, the site was the home to the Allman Brother’s Band and their families and friends from 1970 to 1973, and it was here that the art and magic of the Allman Brother’s music came to life. It was also where they created some of their most famous songs, such as “Ramblin’ Man” and “Blue Sky,” among many others. The Big House Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to archiving, created the museum with the goal of collecting, and showcasing, Allman Brothers memorabilia and artifacts. On December 5, 2009 'The Allman Brothers Band Museum” opened its doors, and it contains the world's largest collection of The Allman Brothers Band memorabilia.
Backstory and Context
History of the Big House
The Allman Brothers Band is one of the leading musical groups in the Southern Rock genre, and Macon, Georgia, was the home of the band’s early years. While living at the Big House on 2321 Vineville Avenue (a beautiful three-story, Grand Tudor home), the band created some of their most iconic songs. When they had no money for food in the early years, they often went to the nearby H&H Restaurant for Mama Louise's cooking.
At the home, hey also experienced their breakout with the releases of their first two albums and, finally, the live album, At Fillmore East. Unfortunately, the band’s years at the Big House (1970 to 1973) also saw the deaths of members Duane Allman and Berry Oakley (both from motorcycle accidents that were a year apart and a couple blocks from one another).
Following the deaths of Duane and Berry, the band began falling apart and Berry Oakley’s wife, Linda Oakley, was evicted from the Big House. Since the band left the Big House, it has remained a Southern Rock icon. Countless famous musicians took up residence in the Big House, and in 1993, the house was purchased and about to be renovated into a bed and breakfast. However, these plans fell through, and the Big House Foundation purchased the property with the goal of safe keeping its history and turning into the foremost dedication to the Allman Brothers Band.
Exhibits at the Museum
In 2009, the Allman Brothers Band museum opened and made a wide collection of memorabilia available for public viewing. The collection contains everything from posters and photos to a vast archive of audio recordings and film footage. In addition to showcasing the band’s memorabilia, the museum also seeks to show what the house looked and felt like when the band lived there.
The exhibit artifacts encompass nearly every aspect of the band members’ personal and professional lives. Visitors can explore family photographs, clothing, magazine and album covers, hotel keys, handwritten lyrics, posters, guitars and other musical instruments, and more. Moreover, each room in the museum has a different theme, and all exhibit signage provides interesting and detailed information regarding the moments of the band’s history and the creation of, what is now today, the most iconic songs coming from the southern rock genre.