West Palm Beach, Fla. — Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks killed himself in front of his wife, police reports released Wednesday show.
The 69-year-old Trucks shot himself in the head Jan. 27 at his home, the West Palm Beach police reports show.
Trucks was one of two original drummers, along with Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, who helped formed the rhythms and the drive for The Allman Brothers. Formed in 1969 and led by Duane and Gregg Allman, the group helped define the Southern rock sound that incorporated blues, rock, country and jazz.
Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Trucks joined with the Allman siblings to form the band, including guitarist Dickey Betts and bassist Berry Oakley. They moved to Macon, Georgia, to cut their first record with Capricorn Records.
The two drummers melded their individual styles, with Trucks considered to be the straightforward, driving train rhythm player, while Johanson added his R&B and jazz drumming influences.
The band’s 1971 live album, “At Fillmore East,” became their seminal breakthrough album, featuring a fusion of jazz, blues and rock. It featured songs like “You Don’t Love Me” and a 22-minute version of “Whipping Post.”
Trucks also helped encourage a family lineage of musicians. One nephew, Derek Trucks, is the frontman of the Tedeschi Trucks Band and also joined The Allman Brothers band in 1999 as a guitarist. Another nephew, Duane Trucks, is the drummer for Widespread Panic.
Trucks was most recently touring with his band, Butch Trucks and the Freight Train.
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