Passings: Butch Trucks of the Allman Brothers Band (1947 - 2017)

by VVN Music

Butch Trucks, who played drums for the Allman Brothers Band from 1969 to 2014, died Tuesday in West Palm Beach, FL at the age of 69. No cause of death has been announced.

The Allman Brothers released a statement saying:

Butch Trucks, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, tragically died the night of January 24 in West Palm Beach, Florida. His wife, four children, four grandchildren and all of the Allman Brothers Band, their families and Road Crew survive Butch. The Trucks and Allman Brothers Band families request all of Butch’s friends and fans to please respect our privacy at this time of sadness for our loss. Butch will play on in our hearts forever.

Donations and remembrances in Butch’s name may be made to The Big House Museum in Macon, Georgia.

Gregg Allman said:

I'm heartbroken. I've lost another brother and it hurts beyond words. Butch and I knew each other since we were teenagers and we were bandmates for over 45 years. He was a great man and a great drummer and I'm going to miss him forever. Rest In Peace Brother Butch.

Trucks' drumming was first committed to vinyl in 1964 when the Jacksonville based group The Vikings cut a single. He later played with The 31st of February which also included Duane and Gregg Allman.

In March 1969, Duane Allman and drummer Jai Johanny Johanson (aka Jaimoe), who had been playing at FAME Studio together, invited anyone who wanted to join a series of jam sessions they were organizing in an attempt to form a band. It was out of those sessions that the Allman Brothers were born with Trucks taking over as second drummer with Jaimoe.

The band soon signed with Atco and released one album per year, The Allman Brothers Band (1969), Idlewild South (1970), At Fillmore East (1971) and Eat a Peach (1972), all of which have become classics and were influential in molding the Southern Rock sound. Among the early tracks that became standards were Whipping Post, Midnight Rider, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, Statesboro Blues, Melissa and Blue Sky which all came from those first four albums.

On October 29, 1971, Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident followed just over a year later with Barry Oakley dying in the same way. The toll on the band was immense but they pushed forward, recording and releasing what became their biggest album, Brothers and Sisters which included the classics Ramblin' Man and Melissa.

The band have split numerous times over the years, from 1976 to 1978, 1982 to 1986 and 1986 to 1989 but Trucks came back every time, the only person other than Gregg Allman to have been with the group over its 45 year history, from the earliest days to their last show on October 28, 2014.

After the breakup of the Allman Brothers, Trucks played a few festivals as Butch Trucks & Very Special Freinds which evolved into Les Brers, which also included Jaimoe.

Trucks is survived by his wife, Melinda, four children and four grandchildren along with his nephew, Derek Trucks of the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Derek wrote on his Facebook page "Rest in Peace Uncle Butch".

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