Duane Allman, guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band, died October 29, 1971, from injuries in a motorcycle accident on Hillcrest Avenue in Macon, Georgia. In 1973, four fans carved a seven foot high “REMEMBER DUANE ALLMAN” in a dirt embankment along Interstate Highway 20 near Vicksburg, Mississippi. It remained visible for ten years.

David Reid, one of the four carvers, explained everything in an essay (excerpted below) submitted to Rolling Stone.

“REMEMBER DUANE ALLMAN” was carved on one of these banks on February 3, 1973, a Saturday morning. It was begun at 8:45, completed four and one half hours later and turned out to be more ambitious than any of us had first imagined. After removing a carload of picks, axes and a nine-foot ladder, expressing feelings of general paranoia of being accused of defacing state property, we spaced and marked the positions for the letters. Upon the realization that we had only used one-third of the available carving space, we doubled the dimensions of the entire message. Our original conception of three to four feet tall letters and a message sixty feet long was abandoned as we re-spaced its position on the wall. The letters became six feet tall and the message over one hundred feet long.

Reid’s daughter has a detailed blog post about the carving (including some nice then and now photos of the guys) here.

Remember when David Reid remembered Duane Allman? – another blog post worth reading.