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Gregg Allman forced to cancel Chicago show after successful liver transplant

on June 24, 2010, 4:00pm

Yesterday morning, Gregg Allman finally got the call he’s 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…It’s one of those things that sneaks up on you and will just kind of ride you for as you as you know you don’t 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 that’s happened,” Allman said in a statement after the procedure, “Everybody involved here, my doctors and nurses in the hospital, and all the fans, they’ve just all been great.”

What’s not great is that the Allman Brother’s Band has been forced to cancel the only event on their summer itinerary – a June 26th appearance at Eric Clapton’s 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 Allman’s 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 can’t turn back time. Everyday is a gift, and I can’t wait to get back on the road making music with my friends.”

Image via The Orlando Sentinel.

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