After nearly 20 years away from the city where it all began, Allman Brothers Band members and their families reunited in Macon Friday for the grand opening of the Big House museum.
Founding band members Gregg Allman, the band's vocalist and keyboardist, and drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks joined together for a grand opening ribbon-cutting at a ceremony that honored the band's Macon roots.
"It was paradise for us, I guess we kind of owned this town for while," Allman said with a laugh. "This is where we got our whole beginning and ironed out all our quirks and got to know each other musically and spiritually."
Allman said walking into the house and seeing the collection of album covers, instruments, and photographs brought back a flood of memories.
"I can't believe how long it's been," he said. "Time shoots by so fast."
Hundreds turned out to the home at 2321 Vineville Ave. for the event. The Big House served as the band's unofficial headquarters from 1970 to 1973, according to the museum's website. Some band members, their wives, girlfriends and children lived in the home during that time.
The visitors to the home included Berry Oakley Jr., a son of one of the band's founding members and original bassist, Berry Oakley.
He said it was "uplifting" to be inside the house that inspired the Allmans' music in the 1970s.
"This is where the spark came, what made them go trudge that road that they've been on now forever," said Oakley Jr. "After all these years and all that's happened with band and all the changes, it's still here."
Members of the Allman Brothers Band and their fans are visiting Macon this week for a nostalgic homecoming.
The legendary Southern rock band performed Friday in Macon, their home base in the early 1970s when they broke through into stardom. It's also the city where two founding members, Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, died in motorcycle accidents.
According to the band's website, it's their first show in the city since New Year's Eve, 1991.
The museum reported an increase in out-of-town visitors this week in advance of Friday's show at the Macon City Auditorium.