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Butch Trucks’ Death: Rockers React

Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

The sudden death of co-founding Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks has led to an outpouring of emotion – starting with those who were closest to him.

“I’m heartbroken,” Gregg Allman said in an official statement. “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.”

Derek Trucks, who shared both family ties and a lengthy tenure in the Allman Brothers Band with Trucks, offered a simple, yet heartfelt message: “Rest in peace, Uncle Butch.” He was joined by others from the next generation, who also paid tribute.

“I’m still in shock,” said former bandmate Warren Haynes. “I am truly honored to have played music and shared life with Butch for over 25 years. He was one of a kind — as a drummer and as a human being. Butch was part of what is unfortunately now a dying breed of musicians who served with honor like soldiers. He put 110 percent of his self into every song he played. He was the Lou Gehrig of rock drummers.”

A message from LOCKN' Festival's co-founder, Dave Frey, on Butch Trucks: After spending a summer together on HORDE, Butch called about Popper joining Frogwings. That led to 2 weeks of writing and rehearsal at his place in Florida, great people and a good hang in wintertime. Next was a “back to the van” tour up the east coast with Butch, Oteil & Kofi, Jimmy, Marc, and John. The tour featured a 3-night stand at Wetlands and though I’d known Peter Shapiro prior, that’s where we cemented our long-lasting personal and professional friendship. A couple decades later it came full circle at Lockn’ where we were honored to host The Allman Brothers' last festival show. Great drummers are like great boxers: they hit things really hard for extended periods of time, though it’s not always fun to be around them before or after they're the ring. Butch was a good person with a warm smile and a big heart. He was a freight train of a man and a master drummer. Thank you Butch for all the great music and your tireless energy, we will miss you dearly. : @JayBlakesberg

A photo posted by LOCKN' Music Festival (@locknfestival) on

Rockers outside of the Allman Brothers Band’s immediate circle also joined in remembering Trucks, who co-founded the group in 1969 and remained in every incarnation though their 2014 retirement.

“Butch did everything just right,” Steve Gorman, drummer for the Black Crowes, told Billboard. “Never over or under played, never pushed or pulled too much. Butch always served the music first, while somehow still managing to impose his own will and his own driving style into everything he played. At the center of all the swirling magic of the Allman Brothers, Butch Trucks was the eye of the storm, leading from the back seat in the exact manner to which we should all aspire. I have taken as much from Butch’s bag as I have any other drummer. It always sounds so trite when trying to put thoughts like these into words. Butch Trucks’ drumming is of course much better served being felt and heard, so we should probably all shut up put on some ABB. Rest in peace, sir.”

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