I had this idea that I could arrive in Macon, Georgia, via rental sedan, nose around for a day or two, and figure something out about the South, and rock music in the South, and men in the South, and men, and death, and guitars, and the Allman Brothers Band, who, in the late 1960s, engineered a new style of rock music that was deeply and earnestly influenced by rhythm & blues but also by something else—some wildness I couldn’t isolate or define or deny.
I was coming to Macon from a book festival in Tallahassee. All weekend, I’d kept announcing to my hosts that I’d never spent any time in North Florida before, but that wasn’t entirely true: a couple years earlier, I’d spent two days chasing bigfoots—or the myth of bigfoots—around the Apalachicola National Forest on a goofy newspaper assignment. North Florida is the sort of place where bigfoots seem plausible, even likely. It is the sort of place you go to and then forget that you have been there.