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Brian Farmer, Longtime Warren Haynes Guitar Tech, Dies

August 25, 2014

Photo: Bert de Jong

Warren Haynes’ longtime guitar tech, Brian Farmer, passed away yesterday at his home near Nashville. The info was announced today via Warren Haynes’ Facebook page with a quote from the guitarist that reads, “He was a close friend, a devoted worker, and a lover of life. We traveled around the world together and shared many experiences—mostly while laughing. He will be missed by a huge circle of friends and family.”

Farmer was a key member of the Gov’t Mule and Allman Brothers road crews since the 1990s, and also worked with Haynes when he toured with other groups like Phil Lesh and Friends. Prior to taking the job with Haynes, he worked for Johnny Cash.

Farmer, who was beloved by those who knew and worked with him, was known for his uncanny resemblance to Haynes, and the pair even shared a birthday. During one Gov’t Mule Halloween show, Farmer was able to trick the crowd into thinking he was the Haynes when he opened the show on guitar. He was also occasionally performed during setbreak with other members of the Gov’t Mule road crew.

Today also marks the 14th anniversary of original Gov’t Mule bassist Allen Woody’s death in 2000.

Speaking with Jambands.com in 2008, Haynes said:

Brian Farmer was Allen Woody’s friend and at the point we were looking for a guitar tech/bass tech, Woody recommended Farmer and he casually alluded to the fact that, “Oh he kind of looks like you.” I didn’t realize what he meant until I met Farmer and I definitely see the similarities but at the same time we look way different too.

The odd thing about my relationship with Farmer is we didn’t find out until quite some time later that we have the same birthday.

Relix publisher Peter Shapiro also released the following statement:

I think all fans of Warren Haynes will miss the sight of Brian Farmer roaming the wings of the stage, handling and tuning Warren's guitars so when Warren had them in his hands the sounds that came out of them was always pitch-perfect. His smile and vibe were infectious and will be remembered with a smile forever.

Phil Lesh has also weighed in via his Terrapin Crossroads Twitter:

So sad to hear of Brian Farmer’s passing- a true pro and devoted friend. Fare thee well, Farmer- I love you more than words can tell.

Comments

I knew Brian very well and the times we spent alone together, whether it be going to an all night pharmacy for supplies for the bus or to Guitar Center or to grab something to eat away from the crowds or even the intimate moments shared in his room talking all night about his fears and listening to his stories, will never be forgotten. I loved that man more than he ever even knew! I will miss him and his laugh everyday for the rest of my life. My heart is truely broken.

By Teresa - 08/25/14

The good die young and older…He will be missed…

By Alan Kastil - 08/27/14

I am saddened by the news that Brian has passed on.  I appreciated his work as a fan of the music that he helped produce as the guitar tech for Warren Haynes.  I had a chance to see Brian last year when the Mule performed live, locally.  Having been a tech of sorts over the years of my life, I watched his actions with a smile on my face and in my heart.  He KNEW what he was doing as the demands of a guitarist that Warren is requires someone who has a patient, skillful knowledge of sound.  God Bless his family and close friends.

By ttk52 - 08/28/14

He was a hero to all the local stages hands and would always make sure he wasn’t a pompus , pre-maddona, LA elitist asshole like so many techs in the business. He was down home and righteous human with a world of talent for the 6 strings.  I will miss him and his huge presence anytime I see The Mule or the Brothers play and trust me Warren will never sound the same.

By Blaylock - 08/28/14

It’s hard to imagine a Mule show without Brian.  If George Martin was the Fifth Beatle, Brian was surely the Fifth Mule.  A wonderful, gentle guy and so many will miss him.

By Keith - 08/28/14

a dear old friend of mine. first met him in 1989 when he was working at rock block guitars. i’m wearing that shirt he gave me right now. he would take me to the backroad soul kitchens around nashville whenever i was in town, two long haired white boys entertaining the matronly cook/owners while enjoying our fried chicken and greens, and i played an unintentional prank for the ages on him when he was in ny for a johnny cash gig, when i’d unknowingly convinced him that we were going to eat at a revolving restaurant at the staten island landfill! he was genuinely disappointed when he discovered i’d been pulling his leg. he got me in to and backstage to many johnny cash shows as well as warren haynes. last saw and hung out with him backstage at a mountain show at brookhaven, n.y. that warren was playing at in 2004 or 5. you will be missed, my dixieland brother.

By Mahatma Jones (B. Seth) - 08/29/14

“The man behind “The Man”.... Brian was a one of a kind .His vast knowledge, and skill, with the workings of a guitar will never be replaced by anyone. His work ethic was ,all business,  while still being laid back ,and a gentleman ,and focused ,on the task on hand. Regardless of the situation backstage, he would still have time to talk to you, all ,while continuously keeping the show going seamlessly. I can’t imagine how upset Warren is ,but ,Brian ,and all of his “family” members are in my prayers ,to help cope with his loss.

By Richard Criscione - 08/29/14

If you love Warren you love Brian.  Take the long way around B.

By Tommy Thompson - 09/06/14

Seeing Brian on stage was always a big part of show!
Would always look for him at any Warren event whether it was an ABB,
Phil and Friends, Mule, or WHB show.
Clearly a real pro and dedicated to his craft.
Another good man gone too soon.

By TJed - 09/22/14

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