The Grateful Dead and Duane Allman Rip “Beat It On Down The Line”

by Peter Wendel
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DuaneAllmanSkydog1971EdBermanOn the night of April 26, 1971, legendary guitarist Duane Allman sat-in with the Grateful Dead for three songs to kickoff the band’s 2nd set at the Fillmore East. The result was a musical feast, featuring two of the most uniquely talented guitarists of all time.

“Beat It On Down The Line” serves up back-to-back solos – first from the Dead’s lead guitarist Jerry Garcia and then from Allman. It’s a special treat to hear their two very distinctive styles set side by side in rapid succession.

April 26, 1971 at the Fillmore would be Duane’s final performance with the Grateful Dead. Tragically, he would die in a motorcycle accident just six months later at the age of 24. Rest in peace, brother.

The Grateful Dead w/ Duane Allman
April 26, 1971
Fillmore East, New York, NY

Jerry lays down a solo at 1:40 and just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any better, Duane unleashes his Coricidin bottle slide at 2:03. Man, oh man, could he play. His slide technique and tone are unmistakable, taking you back to all the classic Allman Brothers’ songs you grew up with, like “Statesboro Blues” and “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’.”

By the way, the other two songs Duane sat-in on that epic night were “Sugar Magnolia” as the 2nd set opener followed by “It Hurts Me Too.” Listen here at the archive.

Peter Wendel is a journalist and PR consultant. He's attended hundreds of concerts and festivals, including the Peach, Mountain Jam, the All Good and Lockn'. He's ridden legendary Grateful Dead runs from Ventura County Fairgrounds to Irvine Meadows (CA) from the Nassau Coliseum (NY) to the Boston Garden (MA). Peter is a former U.S. Marine who – after running into trouble with every last one of his commanding officers – received an honorable discharge and a direct order never to return. Born in California and raised in New Jersey, Peter lived in Boston and Joshua Tree (CA) before settling in the nation's capital. Find him on tour at