The DRUM! magazine staff was saddened to hear that Butch Trucks died yesterday. One of the founding members of the Allman Brothers Band, cornerstone of the jam band community, and — along with Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson — an early purveyor of the two-drummer concept, Trucks’ many contributions will never be forgotten. May he rest in peace.
According to a statement from Reckoning Public Relations: “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.”
From Rolling Stone magazine’s obituary: “Alongside drummer and percussionist Jai ‘Jaimoe’ Johnny Johanson, Trucks helped lay the swinging foundation for southern-rock drumming. Jamoe once asked Duane Allman why he wanted two drummers in the group, according to the Allman Brothers biography, One Way Out, and the guitarist referenced Otis Redding and James Brown’s dual-drummer bands.
“‘Jaimoe was a real good drummer, but more of a pocket guy…he wasn’t really able to handle the power,’ Allman Brothers guitarist Dicky Betts said in the book. ‘We needed Butch, who had that drive and strength, freight train, meat-and-potatoes thing. It set Jaimoe up perfectly.’ Although Jaimoe left and returned to the group in the ’80s, Trucks provided a constant beat throughout the band’s lifespan.
“…After the group’s breakup, Butch played gigs under his own name and formed a new group, Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band. The group had shows already booked for this spring, though Butch would play what would be his last show on January 6th.”
Donations and remembrances in Butch’s name may be made to The Big House Museum in Macon, Georgia: www.thebighousemuseum.com.
Watch The Allman Brothers Band perform “Whipping Post” on September 23, 1970 at the Fillmore East in New York City, excerpted from a television special called Welcome to the Fillmore East. The band’s original lineup comprised Gregg Allman (organ, vocals), Duane Allman (guitar, vocals), Dickey Betts (guitar, vocals), Berry Oakley (bass, vocals), Butch Trucks (drums), Jai Johanny Johanson (drums), and Tom Doucette (harp).