BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
Butch Trucks, the nimble drummer and one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band, has died at the age of 69.
The Southern rock veteran, who played Atlanta’s City Winery earlier this month with his side band, The Freight Train, passed away Tuesday night in West Palm Beach, Fla.
No cause of death has been provided.
Trucks, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., helped form The Allman Brothers Band in 1969, along with Duane and Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley and his partner in percussion, “Jaimoe” Johnny Johanson.
“I’m heartbroken. I’ve lost another brother and it hurts beyond words,” Gregg Allman said. “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.”
The Allman Brothers Band toured for decades – while enduring rocky periods in the ‘70s and ‘80s – and the double drumming attack fueled the band’s sound.
While initially based in Jacksonville, The Allman Brothers Band moved to Macon in 1970, where music impresario Phil Walden guided them onto this then-new label, Capricorn Records and the band crafted dozens of now-classic staples on rock radio – “Ramblin’ Man,” “Mountain Jam,” “Midnight Rider” and “Whipping Post” among them.
Trucks’ nephew, Derek, steers The Tedeschi Trucks Band along with wife Susan Tedeschi, and was a member of The Allman Brothers Band since the late-‘90s.
The Allmans effectively disbanded in 2014 when Trucks and guitarist Warren Haynes – who joined the band in 1989 – announced their departures. In October 2014, the 45-year-career of the band ended with a three-set performance at one of their storied musical homes, The Beacon Theatre in New York.
In 1995, the Allman Brothers Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2012, they were honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Trucks is survived by his wife, four children and four grandchildren and all of the most recent Allmans.
A statement from Trucks’ representative ensured that, “Butch will play on in our hearts forever.”
Donations and remembrances in Trucks’ name can be made to The Big House Museum in Macon (www.thebighousemusuem.com).