Oteil Burbridge Shares Remembrance Of Col. Bruce Hampton


Bassist Oteil Burbridge was one of many talented musicians whose gifts were recognized early on by Col. Bruce Hampton, the jam scene patriarch who died on stage last night. Burbridge was not on hand at the Fox Theatre on Monday for a concert honoring the colonel, but did share some memories of the man who “changed my mind.”

Oteil Burbridge was a founding member of Aquarium Rescue Unit, an act that developed out of jam sessions in Atlanta led by Hampton in the early ’90s. ARU was so beloved by the other main bands in the scene that their participation was a key factor in groups such as Widespread Panic and Phish signing up for the inaugural H.O.R.D.E. tour in 1992. Col. Bruce Hampton’s band was a perfect showcase for massively talented Burbridge and he quickly caught the attention of both fans and other musicians. After the band broke up, Oteil went on to join the Allman Brothers Band in 1997 and held down the bass role in the legendary act until their 2014 retirement. Burbridge was then recruited to help form Dead & Company with members of the Grateful Dead.

Burbridge took to Facebook to share a beautiful note about Hampton:

“If you’re lucky enough, you’ll meet someone who will show you the impossible over and over again until one day you find yourself doing things you never thought you possibly could. Without him there would be no Oteil in the Allman Brothers Band or Dead & Co. There would be no Oteil From Egypt. He changed the entire trajectory of my life. He literally ‘changed my mind.'”

Watch a Col. Bruce Hampton & The Aquarium Rescue Unit performance from 1992: