Butch Trucks, one of the co-founding members of beloved group the Allman Brother Band, was found dead on Tuesday.
He was 69 years old.
No cause of death has been determined or made public, but the sad passing was confirmed by Rolling Stone, who spoke with Trucks’ booking agent, Page Stallings.
Butch’s cousin, Lee, also confirmed the unfortunate news on Facebook, writing this morning:
“My cousin Butch Trucks died. Great drummer. Good person.”
Moreover, the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival, where Trucks was scheduled to perform in May, left the following message on its Facebook account about an hour ago:
We are shocked and sad to report that Butch Trucks, one of the founding members of the Allman Brothers, has passed away at the age of 69.
We will repost the official press release when we get it. Sorry to be the bearer of such sad news.
A native of Florida, Trucks started the Allman Brothers alongside Duane and Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley and Jai Johanny Johanson.
The band struck it big in the early 1970s, gaining a large following as a result of an improvisational style that mixed multiple genres and instruments.
They played hundreds of live dates every year and finally gained a mainstream following in July of 1971 with the release of the live album "At Fillmore East."
Recalling how it all came together with that album, Trucks said many years ago:
“That weekend in March of ‘71 when we recorded ‘At Fillmore East,’ most of the time it clicked. We were finally starting to catch up with what we were listening to.
"We had lived together…we got in trouble together; we all just moved as a unit. And then, when we got onstage to play, that’s what it was all about — and it just happened to all come together that weekend.”
This live album (which was recorded in New York City) went platinum and started a streak of popularity for the band, which included the following records:
- Eat a Peach (1972, released after Duane Allman's death the prior year).
- Brothers and Sisters (1973, it went to number-one on the Billboard chart).
- Win, Lose or Draw (1975).
- Enlightened Rogues (1979, the band's last Top 10 full-length).
The Allman Brother would go on to issue several more studio, live and archival LPs through the decades.
In the Allman Brothers biography, “One Way Out, guitarist Dicky Betts described Trains as a musician with “drive and strength.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone last year, Trucks thought back on the Allman Brothers Band's unexpected status as concert headliners.
"We were in another universe," he said at the time, expounding as follows:
"We were out spreading the gospel of this music we had discovered. We never thought that we would be more than an opening act.
"Atlantic Records was riding our ass constantly to get Gregg out from behind the organ, stick a salami down his pants and jump around the stage like Robert Plant. We told them to go fuck themselves. 'We're playing this for ourselves. We've tried it your way before.
"We didn't make any money and we had a miserable time...'
"Little by little, people started understanding what we were doing. But it had to start with us.
"Once the crowd got in and we could feed on their energy, we'd feed it back to them."
We send our condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of Butch Trucks.