Dickey Betts Talks Allman Brothers Band Retirement

One element missing from The Allman Brothers Band’s final concert, which took place this past Tuesday night at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, was the presence of Forrest Richard “Dickey” Betts. Dickey, who co-founded the ABB and was a huge part of the group’s sound, never again took the stage as part of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame band after being fired in 2000. Depending on who you ask, Betts was either not invited or declined to attend and perform at the finale. In a just-published interview, Dickey shares a few choice words about his former band.

Betts discussed the end of The Allman Brothers Band and a number of other topics with Ticket Sarasota as he preps for a Dickey Betts & Great Southern charity concert at Robarts Arena in Sarasota, Florida on Saturday night. When asked about his thoughts on the ABB calling it a career, Dickey responded “It makes it easier on my band because half their show is shit I wrote, which I do in my show.” Betts continued, “I don’t have to do Gregg Allman songs. It will be easier as far as people understanding. I kind of question whether to say this or not, but it’s almost like the Allman Brothers turned into an Allman Brothers tribute band.” While there’s no doubt the last and longest-running version of The Allman Brothers Band were treading new ground improvisationally, the fact that they only recorded one album of new material together in the 14 years since Dickey left the band (and that LP came out a whopping 11 years ago), doesn’t exactly bolster the case against Betts’ sure-to-be-controversial comment.

“In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed,” “Jessica,” “Revival” and “True Gravity” were among the Betts-penned or co-penned songs The Allman Brothers Band performed during the Beacon run. From what’s been published of the two-hour interview Ticket Sarasota conducted with Dickey Betts, it appears he alternated between praise and blame when discussing The Allmans:

Betts is glad to see the “Allman Brothers Band” name put to rest. During a two-hour interview, though, he praises Jaimoe and Butch Trucks’ drumming and says Gregg has a “golden voice.”

“But I think the Allman Brothers made a big mistake when they started eating their young,” Betts says when asked about the surviving original members’ decision to fire him.

“But human nature is you work shoulder to shoulder in a real emotional kind of setting and there are jealousies that come up. There’s resentment and resentment turns to just outright bad things. And that’s what happened.”

We’re sure his former band mates have a very different view on the situation. Read the entire interview for the story behind Dickey finding out about Duane’s death, some of the conversations the two co-founding ABB guitarists had and the truth behind Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous movie.