Yesterday morning, Gregg Allman finally got the call hes been waiting on for three years. The 62-year-old living legend has been on a liver transplant waiting list since he began undergoing treatment for hepatitis C — an infectious disease that scars the liver and eventually leads to total failure of the organ – in 2007.
While Allman has admitted to heavy drug use in the past, he suspects that he may have contracted the disease from a tattoo needle. He had been forced to sleep for up to 11 hours a day just to play a two-hour set, and after his diagnosis in 2007 Allman told Billboard.com that the disease was laying dormant for a while, and just kind of crept up Its one of those things that sneaks up on you and will just kind of ride you for as you as you know you dont know you have it.
Still, he remained optimistic and, after hearing the good news on Wednesday morning, drove from his home in Savannah, Ga. to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., where the transplant went off without a hitch. I feel good about everything thats happened, Allman said in a statement after the procedure, Everybody involved here, my doctors and nurses in the hospital, and all the fans, theyve just all been great.
Whats not great is that the Allman Brothers Band has been forced to cancel the only event on their summer itinerary a June 26th appearance at Eric Claptons Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago. However, Windy City fans should be just as thrilled with their replacement: the Derek Trucks Band with Susan Tedeschi. (Fun fact: They also served as the replacement for The Flaming Lips at Beale Street Music Festival).
There is no timetable on Allmans recovery, but he seems grateful for his new lease on life and is looking forward to getting back on stage. I changed my ways years ago, he said, but we cant turn back time. Everyday is a gift, and I cant wait to get back on the road making music with my friends.
Image via The Orlando Sentinel.