Interview & Images by Andy Tennille
When I was 11 years old, I spent most of my time playing ColecoVision, watching ThunderCats, and trading baseball cards.
For Derek Trucks, turning 11 years old meant forming his first band, playing his first paying gig, and joining Uncle Butch onstage with the Allman Brothers Band to sit in for "Southbound."
Yeah, I know... I'm an underachiever.
In this installment of On the Road With, we meet up with Trucks, the outrageously talented and down-home humble guitar phenom for the Allman Brothers Band, to discuss tattoos, Duane Allman, ACC basketball, and of course, Colonel Bruce Hampton.
AT: Any truth to the rumor that when you join the Allman Brothers Band, it's tradition to get a tattoo? What's the tattoo and did you get one?
DT: Duane took all the original members to get a mushroom tattoo on their leg. Allen Woody, Oteil (Burbridge), and Marc Quinones also got them, but I don't have any ink yet.
AT: At what age did you first sit in with the Allmans, and what song did you play?
DT: I think I was 11 years old, and the tune was "Southbound."
AT: Gimme your favorite Colonel Bruce Hampton story.
DT: When The Hampton Grease Band opened up for Three Dog Night, they played all Three Dog Night tunes. Bruce said they were run off stage and had to get police escorts to get out of there.
AT: Before there was the Allman Brothers Band, Duane Allman was a session player at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals. What's your favorite track that Duane played on as a studio musician?
DT: Otis Rush's "Mourning in the Morning" and Aretha Franklin's version of "The Weight."
AT: Rumor has it you're a big ACC basketball fan. Give me your prediction for the top five teams in the conference for next year.
DT: Unfortunately, it's hard to choose between being hopeful or realistic, so here's a little bit of both: UNC, Duke, Florida State, Boston College, and Wake Forest.
AT: Who has been your favorite guest to sit in with in either the Allman Brothers or your own band?
DT: Hubert Sumlin from Howlin Wolf's band and Jimmy Cobb, who played with Miles Davis, among many others. Jimmy Herring, Colonel Bruce Hampton, The Campbell Brothers, Aubrey Ghent, my wife (guitarist Susan Tedeschi)...
AT: What's your favorite venue that you've ever had a chance to play and why?
DT: Town Hall in New York City because of all the heavyweights that have been on that stage.
AT: Who's got the coolest tour bus that you've seen? Why?
DT: Any tour bus that we are lucky enough to be traveling in. I would tour 250+ days a year in a 15-passenger van if we had to, and I have, but the bus makes the road a whole lot easier.
AT: If you could pick three people, alive or dead, to have sit in tonight, who would they be?
DT: James Black, Charlie Christian, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
AT: What's in the CD changer/iPOD these days?
DT: Ray Lamontagne, Chucho Valdez, Eddie Bo, and Marvin Gaye's Here My Dear.
AT: What's one album or artist you wouldn't want to admit is in your iPOD/CD changer?
DT: I think I have a pretty clean bill of health as far as that goes.
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