Allman Brothers Band Museum

Field review by the editors.

Macon, Georgia

It may never attain the stature of Graceland, but fans of the Allman Brothers Band have a pilgrimage shrine tourist attraction of their own.

The Big House Museum in Macon, Georgia, is the 1904 Tudor mansion in which the band lived during its productive years, a combination commune/crash pad in a surprisingly suburban upscale neighborhood.

The Big House Museum is an attraction that definitely needed time to mellow before it arrived. Back in the early 1970s, the families living in the surrounding houses probably weren't too happy about their rock and roll neighbors, a hard-partying southern band known as much for their ingestion of booze and drugs as for their music. Now, everyone loves the Allman Brothers -- that is, everyone who remembers them. The band didn't do much after 1973, the same year that they were evicted from the house.

Inside, the three-story building is packed with 20 rooms of framed posters, articles of clothing, gold records, instruments, amps, tour cases. There's a pool table that was owned by Gregg Allman when he was married to Cher, a photo of Georgia governor Jimmy Carter wearing an Allman Brothers t-shirt, and an upstairs bathroom with a seven-head shower (see "commune" above). The holiest part of the house is Duane Allman's Indian-accented bedroom, restored to the way it looked when he died in 1971. It raises an awkward point: despite all of the latter-day good vibes, the neighborhood really wasn't kind to the band. Both Duane and bassist Berry Oakley died in motorcycle crashes on nearby streets. Their graves are also popular attractions in Macon.

When the museum opened in 2009 we wondered if it might be the start of a wave of 1970s Southern Rock attractions with senior admission discounts. Who would get a museum next? The Marshall Tucker Band? The Dixie Dregs? But that wave never arrived.

Allman Brothers Band Museum

Big House Museum

Address:
2321 Vineville Ave., Macon, GA
Directions:
At The Big House Museum. I-75 exit 164, then drive west a half-mile on US 41/Hardeman Ave./Vineville Ave. Pass a brick church on the right at Culver St., and the house/museum will be two blocks further west, on the right, just past Rogers Ave.
Hours:
Th-Sa 11-6, Su 11-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
478-741-5551
Admission:
Adults $15.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Bear of TerrorBear of Terror, Macon, GA - 1 mi.
Little MarthaLittle Martha, Macon, GA - 1 mi.
Allman Brothers Caged Party GravesAllman Brothers Caged Party Graves, Macon, GA - 1 mi.
In the region:
Doll Head Trail, Atlanta, GA - 70 mi.

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August 10, 2020

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