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  The Allman Brothers (first album, 1969) - Album cover photo location - 315 College Street, Macon, Georgia.


The Allman Brothers Band - album cover



(photo by Stephen Paley)



Where it was photographed, in a photo taken in 2013.



(photo by J.T. Wang)



Now with the album superimposed over the exact spot in PopSpots style.



(inset photo by Stephen Paley)



And from further back, with the cover on the right for reference.



(inset photos by Stephen Paley)



And now, as if it might have looked as the photographer walked up the front lawn...



(band photo by Stephen Paley)






FINDING THE EXACT LOCATION AND GETTING THE PHOTO





This PopSpot was relatively easy in that I had read that the Allmans' first cover was taken at 315 College St. in Macon, Georgia - and that's easy enough to find on Google Street views. But where, around the all-white house, was it taken?

315 College Street (often known as the Beall House - a former restaurant), if one does a little research through Allman fan sites, is the large mansion next to 309 College Street, the large house that the Allman Brothers first lived in when they came to Macon in 1969.

That house, #309, can be partially viewed on the right in this picture. The album shoot location, the Beall House, is on the left.




Here's a shot of the Allman Brothers' first house in Macon (309 College Street), from above. (It's in the red circle.)

According to Allman roadie "Red Dog" in an interview in the Washington Post about this location: "There were 10 of us living there. We didn't have anything but mattresses, a trip light, a stereo, and a Coke machine filled with Pabst and Bud. Ah, those were fun days."




Since that photo, the building has been taken down. All that's left of that house is this Allman Brother "mushroom" logo on the front sidewalk. (I'm not sure when it was put there.)




Here, to the right, behind the tree, is where the house would have been. And the sidewalk in front is where I am assuming the mushroom logo was embedded into the concrete, as the photo was sent to me just indicating: "I took the picture on the sidewalk which once led to the house."




This is a front-on picture of the Beall House, which, as we learn in this photo caption, is now becoming a learning center for string instruments (violins, violas, cellos, double-bass) as part of Mercer University.

What's striking is that there are windows on the left of the facade, and none on the right.

I had originally figured that the Allman Brothers were filmed on the front porch of this building, but in the Allman photos, there were no ground-level windows to the left of the band. Thus, the photo must have been taken around the porch to the right.




Here's a Bing's Eye-view down at the side of the house. You can see the large blank wall and high window that was in back and above the band.



(inset photo by Stephen Paley)



Now, using Google Street View, this was as close as I could get to the side of the house. It really didn't line up to make a great PopSpot, because of the angle and the distance...



(inset photo by Stephen Paley)



...But then, out of the blue, I get an email from an Allman Brother's fan named J.T. Wang who had just visited Macon, and had a picture taken of himself, in the exact spot that I needed a picture taken from! How lucky was that? Thanks,J.T.!

Here's J.T. now....



(photo by J.T. Wang)



And the rest, as they say, is PhotoShop. I took George out, and put the Band in and voila! - album cover location.



(inset photo by Stephen Paley)





By the way, the Wikipedia article on this album does not mention Steve Paley as the photographer of the front, inner sleeve, and back of the album, so if someone knows how to change that, that would be a nice tribute to Steve and these memorable photographs.





The interior cover of the album cover depicts the band naked in a stream somewhere. I have not tracked down the stream yet, but I will look for a large pile of clothes on a riverbank and report back.




(photo by Stephen Paley)



I did, however, find an outtake however that shows the guys after someone drained the lake they were in.

I guess the showers were out at 309 College Ave.



(photo by Stephen Paley)



The back cover of the album featured this photo of the band.

The photo was taken at a lush, park-like, historic cemetery named Rose Hill Cemetery, near the band's house in Macon where they used to go to walk around, relax and get inspired. It is in this cemetery, too, that both Duane Allman and Berry Oakley are buried side by side.

(photo by Stephen Paley)




They went there so often, they named one of their most famous songs after one of the tombstones they would see there: that of Elizabeth Reed. The song is the familiar: In Memory of Elizabeth Reed. Elizabeth's tombstone can be seen below, via an image from a travel website called "Trip Advisor."




The back cover was taken next to a large burial space called The Bond Monument, pictured here, from the fan website called www.duaneallman.info




PopSpotted, the back cover would look like this....



(insert photo by Stephen Paley)



The website mentioned above - www.duaneallman.info has extensive collection of photos of places the band frequented in Macon, and comes with map in case you ever want to make a visit. Some of the site and photos on the site are listed below (when he writes Bell House, I believe he is referring to the Beall House):




If you visit Macon, be sure to save some time to visit The Big House - the Official Museum of the Allman Brother's Band - located at 2321 Vineville Ave, Macon, Georgia 31204 (478-741-5551) (thebighousemuseum.com). It's full of memorabilia, including photos, posters, clothing, and musical instruments, and rooms made up to look just like when the Band lived there from 1970 to 1973.

Here's a picture of it.




Shortly after the Bond Monument photo was taken in the cemetery, the photographer Stephen Paley, and the band took some more picture along the railroad tracks, that run next to the Cemetery, between the cemetery and the river. One of the resulting pictures ended up years later on the cover of The Allman Brothers Band - Gold from 2005, released by Mercury Records. (you'll notice they are all wearing the same clothes as when they were in the cemetery.)




(photo by Stephen Paley)


Here you can see the band on the tracks and that they are wearing the same outfits.(PopSpots recommend NOT trying to replicate this photo as train tracks are dangerous)



(both photos by Stephen Paley)



Here's a map indicating where the Cemetery is in relation to some of the other the other Allman sites in Macon.

I've also listed the site for the cover shoot of The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East (1971). You can find that location and lots of photos of it at the PopSpot I made of that album.










Now we come to the cover of the two-record set, "DUANE ALLMAN - an anthology" released in 1972 by Island/Mercury.

On the cover Duane is fishing somewhere in the south, in what seems to be a swampy area.



(photo by Stephen Paley)



Here's another outtake.



(photo by Stephen Paley)



And one from another angle. I still don't see any fish yet, so it's a slow day at the fishing hole for the fastest slide alive.



(photo by Stephen Paley)



On that same day, I am going to speculate, Duane had his photo taken with his brother Gregg in the current fashions. The clues here are it seems like it's a public park, since there are benches and tables.



(photo by Stephen Paley)



Now in this photo, also found randomly in the web, Duane and Gregg are wearing the same pattern shirts as in the previous picture, at the picnic bench, but this time the rest of the band is with them, in an obvious photo-shoot. But where was it??



(photo by Stephen Paley)



There was a lot of speculation in Allman Brothers forums about this question, and the answers pointed me from Florida to Georgia, to Muscle Shoals, Alabama. But they also pointed me to a concert played at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida with the Mothers of Invention on October 9th 1970 in a venue called Tully Gymnasium.

Here's the interior of Tully Gymnasium. (via Florida Memory)




This is the Google entry saying connecting the Allmans, Frank Zappa, and Alice Tully Gym. on October 9th, 1970.




The same people who mentioned this particular weekend, also speculated that the photos were taken about 10 miles away at lake area owned by the University called Lake Bradford.

It has the same type of cypress trees whose roots are in the water as were in the Duane/fishing pictures.




And another view...





...and another.




So, without knowing the exact spot Duane was in (if I can confirm this was actually the place, which it seems to be from the evidence so far) then matching up part of the shoreline and the cypress trees, the PopSpot comes out like this.

.

(Inset photo by Stephen Paley)


Here's an overhead shot of Lake Bradford. Notice that there are cypress trees in the water all along the northern and western shores. Duane might have been in any of those places.




Here's a map of how close Lake Bradford was to the Florida State University campus where the Allman's were playing.




So that's my theory on the photo. We'll see how things develop as readers who know more read the entry and confirm or say it's someplace else -- in which case, I'll either be eating a peach or on the whipping post. Later, gators.


UPDATE: JUNE 2017:THE LAKE BRADFORD LOCATIONS - CONFIRMED.


In June 2017, PopSpot's reader John Clay of Tallahassee, Florida, who's very familiar with the Lake Bredford area, sent in this detailed description of the locations of all the photos taken in Lake Bradford.

Thank you, John, for taking the time to put this together for all the Allman fans. - Bob/PopSpots


"The location is unquestionably Lake Bradford, Tallahassee FL. The land photos featuring Duane or Greg were taken at the Florida State University Reservation, aka "The Rez." There is zero doubt about that. I've been in Tallahassee continuously since 1965. We went to the Rez frequently for picnics, swimming and canoeing from 1965 onwards. We water skied there with enormous regularity from around 1969 to ~1990. Our family owned and lived in a house on the NW corner of the lake for about 25 years (roughly 1975 to around 2000, near the end of Echo Point Lane). From '69 to '75 we launched our boat from the Rez. From '75 on the boat was in the water at the house. My mother lived there until ~2000. Even now, having not been in the water there in this century I can remember nearly every inch and every view of Lake B. I knew pretty much everybody who lived on the west side when I was much younger but some of the names are starting to fade and the people are long gone.


Descriptions of notations on the map of Lake Bradford are below the map.





The first and second photos (I'm calling the cover photo the "first" one) were taken not too far (maybe 150 or 200 feet) from the Western boundary of the Rez, looking pretty much due West towards the houses of Dr. Kasha, Dr. Sheline and Gene Brown (all on Longleaf Road and in the order you'd pass them coming from Lake Bradford Road). Drs. Kasha & Sheline were world renowned scientists at FSU (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Kasha). In addition Dr. Kasha worked with Gibson on acoustic guitar design. Dropping by the Kasha's to hang or hit the lake with Nicholas often included seeing the latest guitar he was working on. Dr. Sheline worked on the Manhattan Project in WWII and Gene Brown was a real estate developer. The little red house over the water was a rental on Mr. Brown's property; it flooded on a couple of occasions when the lake got uncommonly high. That corner of the lake is relatively high, up a fairly steep slope. His residence was pretty large (by local standards of the time) and can't be seen in the photo but it's now owned by a local MD. It has a tennis court that could be seen from Longleaf Road (and current satellite photos). The Kasha and Sheline families are long gone, their kids flung all over the place. We skied from the Kasha's and Sheline's beach sometimes and I got a pretty good creosote burn from the trim on the Sheline's Sailfish sailboat once.

The third one is looking in the opposite direction towards the center of the Rez where the concrete dock (mostly gone now, only the stubs remain and can be seen from satellite photos), sailing club building, canoe building and the changing rooms were located. I think maybe I see the masts of the Flying Junior sailboats pulled up on the beach in front of the dock. The current satellite photo shows that the general arrangement of the "lake activity" buildings hasn't changed (there were others, farther up the property, but those are gone now and replaced by others) though the flat observation roof of the sailing building is now peaked. That's a bummer; it was a nice place to hang out and I'm surprised that there aren't any photos of the Allman Bros up there. You can also see the sailboats pulled up in their usual spot. The ski beach is in between the sailboats and Duane; it was just a break in the trees big enough for the job. There is, or was, a fiberglass cafeteria tray on the bottom, 50 or 100 feet offshore, that I tried to ski on once. I botched the takeoff and it sank.

The fourth, the color photo, showing both sitting on a table, shows the West end of the sailing club building with the steps to the observation roof. At the foot of the steps, adjacent the shrubbery, was the walkway to the snack bar, with the changing rooms behind it, and farther East, near the property boundary the boat launch ramp next to the canoe building. You can see part of the dock as well. It was basically three sides of a square with a jog on the E/W oriented part facing the lake, for the diving boards. It enclosed the swimming area.

The fifth with the red canoe in the middle of the lake: That's one of two huge "war" canoes that they had at the Rez. They weren't part of the rental fleet of aluminum Grumman canoes, but they were stored in the canoe building which backed up to the East property boundary, adjacent the water. It's looking West and the little white piece of a roof, just left of center, is the McGrew's house. The Lamar's house, a single story (block as I recall) would be to the immediate right, was heavily wooded and wouldn't be visible. Dr. Choppin's house was to the left of the McGrew's. He was another world famous scientist (chemistry & biochemistry). I used to surf and ski with his son, Paul in the mid '70s.

Sixth: Tully Gym. I wasn't at the concert and the gym is doubtless much changed since I was a student at FSU.

Seventh: Examined in a vacuum, I wouldn't be able to confirm that's Lake B but it's consistent with a few things and so I feel quite certain that it is: 1) I remember hearing that the lake dried up before or shortly after we came to Tallahassee. The information at the link says "Lake Bradford, 1955" so that's in line with the tenor of my recollection. 2) The arc of the shoreline and the little sand beach in the distance, just to the right of center, as well as the juxtaposition and general appearance of the cypress trees on both sides of the beach, are consistent with the East and Northeast perimeter of the lake (you can see it in current satellite-photos). The beach is MOL adjacent to the point at which Lakeview Drive is closest to the lake, in the NNE corner. 3) The two-rut drive into the lake-bed is consistent with boat launch access that was part of a privately owned park that was located in-between Gerald Drive and the wye where Flastacowo Road (the entrance to the Rez) diverged from Lake Bradford Road. I think the Levys owned the park but they certainly owned the property after the park was closed down. As an operational venue I'm pretty sure it was dead by the early '70s though the buildings remained for ten or maybe 20 years afterwards. Bill Heath welding was just across Lake B road. A friend of mine dated his daughter a time or two. "Have her back by 10" were his instructions. He wasn't the kind of fellow you doubted in such matters.

Eighth: 1922! I certainly can't argue with that.

Ninth: That was taken looking East from just inside the passage-way which connected Lake B (across Little Sir Echo, the cove on the NW corner of Lake B) to Lake Hiawatha. You can easily see the passageway in current satellite photos. In the mid-to-late 70's we used to pull the Ski Nautique into Little Sir Echo in between sessions on the slalom course to chill out. It was a mellow way to spend a morning and get smooth water before anyone else was on the lake. Sometimes, just for grins, we'd ski from Lake B, through the passageway and into Lake Hiawatha; it was narrow but not difficult.

Tenth: That one isn't explicitly imprinted in my memory (the others are) but I'm confident it's Lake B. The cove in the distance is consistent with being Little Sir Echo. The three docks and what I can see of the waterfront are consistent with my recollection of what was there at the time. Somebody pulled the plug on one of the Nautiques moored over there once. The location is in-between where Gerald and Cathedral Drives would intersect the lake perimeter on the East side, if they were extended to do so. The angle of Little Sir Echo and treeline to it's right tends to rule out a position farther north. Additionally there weren't three docks so close together farther north. If you zoom satellite photos you can get the gist of the shoreline. The Firestones had a house on the lake (I think he was a senator back in the day) just off the end of, or slightly south of, Gerald. Just to the north there were a couple of unnamed dirt roads between Gerald and Cathedral where a few old houses could be rented for pretty cheap; the photo has got to be from the waterfront of that area.

I had the Anthology album; wish I still did. In the un-cropped version of the war canoe photo that was in the album, (see below) the little sand beach in front of the house my parent's owned can be seen at the extreme right border of the photo. Letting that get out of our family was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.



Those photos bring back a lifetime of memories; I mean we spent A LOT of time on that lake for a lot of years. Swam to the middle during thunderstorms 'cause you couldn't see 50' and it felt like being on a different planet. Water skied until we dropped, canoed every inch, watched many years of sunrises over the East tree-line, parties on the deck. It was home.

I'm glad I can provide this information."

Best regards,

John Clay
Tallahassee



ADDENDUM - 1

Other famous album covers photographed by Steven Paley - # 1 (from Google Images)




ADDENDUM - 2

Other famous album covers photographed by Steven Paley - # 2 (from Google Images)




ADDENDUM - 3

PopSpots readers and Allman Brothers fans, the Cactus brothers (Mike and his brother (whose name I don't know), recently sent these pictures back from a tour they made to Macon. They visited The Big House museum and also visited other sites around town. Included is a nice ground-level view of the Rose Hill Cemetery, the former Capricorn Building, and 315 College Street. Thanks, brothers! Love that black-and-white, ground level shot at the Rose Cemetery. I don't know if you have a band, but you've got the look.


Rose Hill Cemetery



Rose Hill Cemetery



The former Capricorn site.



On the porch of 315 College Street



ADDENDUM - 4

Macon native and lawyer Jim Adams sent in this painting he made of the band at the Rose Hill Cemetery. Thanks, Jim. Nice job.