Tales Of A Ramblin’ Man

Willie Perkins’ transition from Trust Company of Georgia bank auditor to Allman Brothers Band road manager was the start of a long, strange trip he didn’t expect to go on, much less write about — until now.

Perkins’ book, “No Saints, No Saviors: My Years With The Allman Brothers Band,” published earlier this year covers his time with the band from 1970 to 1989 without embellishment. He wrote it longhand on a legal pad.

“It’s not a history of the band; it’s my memoir. … I call it an affectionate but uncensored recollection,” Perkins told Pollstar. “I could’ve probably written a thousand pages but I wanted to keep it short and readable and try to cover everything.”

The inspiration to put pen to paper, Perkins said, came by the urging of people over the years and the fact that The Allman Brothers Band has persevered despite its chaotic past.

“The band has stood the test of time. They’re still out there and they’re still making great music,” he said. “I always feel like the original six-man band was the pinnacle of the band, but they had their greatest financial success after Duane (Allman) and Berry (Oakley) were gone.

“I saw them last fall and they were playing as good as I remember them. Gregg, his voice just gets better with age and he seems to be doing real good with his personal life now. That’s a blessing.”

What makes Perkins’ book an exception to the numerous Allman Brothers biographies is his first-hand account of the group’s musical rise, touched by the deaths of Duane Allman in 1971 and Oakley in 1972, the members’ battles with drug and alcohol abuse, internal clashes, and financial and legal problems.

He also recounts working with former Capricorn Records exec Phil Walden, who signed and managed the band, and former Paragon Agency head Alex Hodges.

Perkins doesn’t know if any of the band members have read the book, but he’s getting good reviews from those who have.

“I’ve gotten so many letters and e-mails from people who just said, ‘Man, I never knew all this. This is great.'”

Since retiring as The Allman Brothers Band road manager, Perkins has used his industry experience to form indie label Atlas Records and Republic Artists Management, which represents Sonny Moorman and young artist Tony Tyler.

As for his years in the “baptism of fire” school of road management, Perkins had this to say: “I’m very fortunate I was able to do that. I wouldn’t [trade] a million dollars for the experience.”

— Tina Amendola