Butch Trucks, founding member and drummer for the world renown jam band Allman Brothers Band, has passed away last night at 69 years old in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Claude Hudson “Butch” Trucks was 21 years old in 1968 when he met Gregg and Duane Allman in his Jacksonville band The 31st of February. It was only the following year that they came together to form the Allman Brothers Band along with Berry Oakley, Dickey Betts, and Trucks’ cohort behind the drums, Jai Johanny Johanson. Trucks’ rhythm on the skins along with Johanson became an integral aspect to the Allman Brothers’ sound. The groovy yet driving rhythms of epics like “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Whipping Post” as well as the laid-back, chilled-out beats on “Ramblin’ Man,” “Melissa” and “Jessica” are all part of what made the Allman Brothers so uniquely identifiable.
In short, Trucks’ massive contributions to the Allman Brothers Band, and to music in general, are undeniable and unquantifiable, and he will be missed.
He is survived by “his wife, four children, four grandchildren and all of the Allman Brothers Band, their families and Road Crew.” Both Trucks’ family and The Allman Brothers Band have requested for “friends and fans to please respect our privacy at this time of sadness for our loss,” noting “Butch will play on in our hearts forever.”Trucks was also the uncle of notable musicians Derek Trucks, band leader for the Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Duane Trucks, drummer for Widespread Panic and Hard Working Americans.
UPDATE (1/26): According to reports obtained by The Miami Herald, Butch Trucks cause of death was a self-inflicted gun shot to the head. Even more devastating for the Trucks family, the reports indicate that he committed the act in front of his wife in their condo in West Palm Beach.
The police report states that a woman called in hysterics and unable to complete sentences, stating her husband had shot himself, and that he was still alive. She also disclosed to the operator that she had witnessed the shooting.