Remembering Butch Trucks: Performing Live With Allman Brothers Band In 1999
Watch Butch and ABB on Allman classics like "Ain't Wastin' Time," "Dreams," "Liz Reed" and more.
Today marks five years since co-founding The Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks sadly died at the age of 69. Born Claude Hudson Trucks on May 11, 1947 in Jacksonville, Florida, Butch, as he was known, would go on to co-found The Allman Brothers Band with fellow drummer Jaimoe, guitarists Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, keyboardist Gregg Allman and bassist Berry Oakley in 1969.
While one of the most legendary rock bands of all time and progenitors of the modern jam scene, ABB’s existence was marked by tragedy beginning with the eerily similar deaths of Duane Allman and Berry Oakley in motorcycle accidents in 1971 and ’72 respectively. But one thing remained steady: Jaimoe and Butch Trucks on the double drum attack. Butch and Jaimoe were the perfect foils for each other, with Trucks providing a more powerhouse rock approach while Jaimoe added a jazzy finesse. Together, they created a rock-solid foundation that allowed the other members to create and explore
Butch, however, was the only drummer to sit on the throne for the entirety of The Allman Brothers Band’s turbulent 45-year tenure (although Jaimoe was only absent briefly in the early ‘80s). While ABB would break up in the late 1970s and once again in the mid-’80s, the band’s 20th anniversary in 1989 rejuvenated the group and ushered in an Allmans renaissance in the 1990s.
The decade saw ABB adding pieces that would stabilize the band into the 21st century including guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, bassist Oteil Burbridge and percussionist Marc Quiñones, who joined Butch and Jaimoe in a three-pronged percussive presentation. While Haynes along with bassist Allen Woody left the band in 1997 to pursue their Gov’t Mule project, ABB brought on Oteil and Butch’s nephew Derek Trucks in the late ’90s. Derek’s first tour with the legendary group took place in 1999 around their 30th anniversary when he was just 20 years old.
On August 22 of that year, The Allman Brothers Band came to Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan. The set kicked off with the Dickey Betts/Warren Haynes instrumental “True Gravity” followed by Gregg leading the band through the Eat A Peach classic opener “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More.” The first set also contained blues standards the Allmans made their own like “Statesboro Blues” and closed out with Betts’ “Blue Sky.”
The second set got underway in an acoustic format with Gregg coming out from behind the B3 to join Derek and Dickey on acoustic guitar. Allman and Betts harmonized well on the title track off the band’s 1990 album Seven Turns. Butch then joined in for a stripped-down version of the classic “Melissa.” Next, the band returned to an electric layout for another classic, the instrumental “Jessica.” The second frame also contained ABB favorites like “Dreams” and “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed,” both featuring the three-headed percussion attack in full effect. The band closed out the second set with the vintage “Revival.” Butch and ABB retook the stage for an encore of “Ramblin’ Man” and “No One To Run With.”
To remember Butch Trucks, watch him perform with The Allman Brothers Band in 1999 below:
Setlist (via ABB.com)
Set One: True Gravity, Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More, You Don’t Love Me, Good Times (Don’t Fade Away), Statesboro Blues, What’s Done Is Done, Blue Sky
Set Two Acoustic: Seven Turns, Melissa
Set Two Electric: Jessica, Change My Way of Living, Dreams, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, Revival
Encore: Ramblin’ Man, No One To Run With