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Derek Trucks on a Potential Dickey Betts Reunion with the Allman Brothers

January 09, 2014

Photo by Dino Perrucci

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi appear on the current cover of Relix. The accompanying story written by editor Dean Budnick focuses on the development of the Tedeschi Trucks Band. In the piece Trucks also discusses the Tedeschi Trucks Band show from this past September 21 in which founding Allman Brothers Band member Dickey Betts, who left the ABB in 2000, returned to the stage at the Beacon Theatre with the TTB. “I’ve seen a lot of moments at the Beacon,” Trucks reflects. “I think I’ve been there for 170 shows and that one had a unique feel because it was pretty unexpected. When Clapton played with the Allman Brothers, everyone already knew—the word had gotten out. It was still an amazing moment when he stepped out onstage, however, it wasn’t a shock. But when Dickey came out, you could tell it meant something. The thing I enjoyed about it is that it wasn’t lost on anybody. It was some sort of bridge, some kind of minor healing to the whole saga. That, to me, was the point of it.”

Trucks is certainly warm to the idea of Betts returning to the stage with the Allman Brothers at some point during the 45th anniversary shows, after which he and Warren Haynes will depart the group. Derek offers, “I think not only for the band and the legacy but for the audience too it would be something nice to tie it up. The whole story of the band is this dysfunctional crazy family and it has been from the beginning. I think that’s one of things that draws people to that music, there’s a humanity about it and I think for it not to go out right would be a shame especially when it’s still tangible. I just think it’s the right sentiment but we’ll see…”


That’s what needs to happen. I never did like the way Dickie was dismissed from the band.The question is WILL Dickie WANT to return after the way he was treated!
Gary F. Montgomery

By gfm - 01/09/14

Hired by fax?

By Don Muret - 01/09/14

So now I’m supposed to guess which night he might appear out of 10? lol.  Guess I need to be at all 10!

By Kim - 01/09/14

I hope it happens.  We’re all a bit long in the tooth to not ‘forgive and forget’.  Everybody like some healing.  We need it too.

By mojotiger - 01/09/14

And Dickie’s still amazing. I saw his band play The Capitol same weekend as The Vibes and it was such a shame that no one was there. However it was nice to be standing right in front of him as he wailed away. His love of the music and playing for even a small but enthusiastic audience was clearly evident. I love Derek and Warren but Dickie’s sound is way better for Allman Brothers songs.

By kohort - 01/09/14

“The whole story of the band is this dysfunctional crazy family and it has been from the beginning.”

DT wasn’t there but his sentiment is accurate. In the beginning - there was a passionate creativity that didn’t pay bills and hangers-on that would supply the band with any *thing* that insured themselves another day to hang out. There was the drive to succeed that pushed them on the road and the underbelly hedonism that partnered with the inevitable exhaustion. There were groupies buzzing around like turdflies on tour and at home. There was a passionate unspoken love and a witch with a black cat named Kira. Almost *everything* was *highly* out of order..

Even then - there was special bond between the music-makers. If this last year centers on the memory of Duane - surely they will all come. What musician didn’t love Duane with all his ever so often personal screw-ups and uncontrollable hyper-intelligence? He loved the music and gave himself to its joy. I can’t imagine any one who would place their pride above remembering their beloved bandmate and friend.

By SURSUM COR - 01/09/14

I would love to see it happen.  Dickey was the driving force of the band after Duane passed and always was a major creative force through all the incarnations of the ABB. The feud deserves to be put to rest before it’s too late.

I just hope Dickey is sober these days. Last time I saw him he was pretty sloppy. Which is why Gregg (who was five years sober at the time) fired him.

“Where It All Begins was the last studio album we ever did with Dickey, because both his behavior and his playing were becoming more erratic, and issues developed between him and Allen Woody. Basically, Woody was tired of taking Dickey’s shit, and it got pretty ugly between them. Warren, too, had grown weary of Dickey’s subpar playing and the fact that Dickey’s solution was to just crank it up and play even louder. The volume certainly had something to do with his drinking, which he was doing a lot of. At one point, we outlawed any kind of alcohol onstage, since I was sober. Suddenly, he didn’t have anyone to drink and play with, because nobody else in the band drank.”  _ Gregg Allman, “My Cross to Bear”

By KevinBe - 01/09/14

Unless Dickie is sober, it’s not even worth talking about. Dickie pushed away Jack, too. Drunk, deaf and insecure is no way to go.

By dddstudiomax - 01/09/14

I saw Dickey last year, and though he was sober, he was a shadow of what he used to be.  I was 10 feet from the stage and saw it all. His son, Duane, played slide and outplayed him all night.  As great as Dickey was, I’m not sure he has it in him, anymore.  But maybe he just had a bad night…

By ABBfan - 01/09/14

Who’s this “Dickie” everyone is speaking of?

By Rechurd - 01/10/14

I saw Dickie play a fantastic “You Don’t Love Me” at the Beacon two weeks before he was fired. Since then his playing has been uneven to say the least. Would be nice if they could all get together and play once more…time will tell.

By Matt - 01/10/14

They all need to bury the hatchet before it’s too late and play together again.

By Ron Williamson - 01/10/14

I love Dickey Betts, and would love to see him back with the Brothers. As mentioned, his behavior became erratic, he was forgetting words…and not showing up on time. I saw him play alone here in St Pete, and he was hour and half late….. laying in the back of the limo….passed out. He missed his cues, and forgot lyrics.
I hope things have gotten better…because he is one kick ass guitar player.

By Jennifer Honegger - 01/10/14

The High Cost of Low Living!  I think the song says it all.  Love Dickey but the last 3 times I’ve had tickets to see him, he has cancelled!

By Don Smith - 01/10/14

Dicky will be playing in Connecticut at the Ridgefield Playhouse on March 7th, not all that far from NY. Just sayin’.

By Jim - 01/10/14

I want Dickie Betts on the whole reunion tour. I have been an ABB fan for 45 years and have seen them live a dozen times, with and without Dickie. It has ALWAYS been a better show with him because we get to hear ALL of their songs. I love blues but Dickie’s twang sounds great too! The last time I saw ABB without him, the show just didn’t get off the ground. It was ok, but NOTHING like the shows with Dickie. And as for someone commenting that he doesn’t have it like he used to. Who the hell does? I saw The Who in 1988 and some young kid on stage was doing ALL of Pete Townshends licks! Gregg Allman needs to make this happen for us “CLASSIC” fans!!!!!

By Pilgrim - 01/11/14

Dickey Betts is (or at least he was) a great guitarist and songwriter during his days with The Allman Brothers Band but I saw a video interview of him fairly recently and he didn’t look to be in very good shape.  I sincerely hope that he’s been able to get his demons under control but all the Dickey enablers need to familiarize themselves with ABB history.  They all talk about how badly Dickey was treated by the band but they never talk about how Dickey masterminded Jaimoe’s firing in the 80’s or about how Jaimoe discovered the fact when he showed up for a show and found someone else’s drums in his place.  At least the band tried to talk to Dickey before he was suspended, not fired.  He subsequently quit and started legal proceedings.  I would like nothing better to see Dickey back with The Allman Brothers Band but i suspect that that is largely up to him.  I love Dickey’s music (with a few exceptions) but he needs to swallow his pride if he wants to be re-instated and that all depends on whether or not the other members want to take a chance on him again.  (I saw the band in 1997 with Dickey and Jack Pearson and thought they sounded the most like the original line-up.  Apparently Jaimoe agrees with me.)  I only wish the best for Dickey and all the members of the ABB but i can’t help wonder if the recent news from Derek and Warren doesn’t mean the end of the band.  I hope not but if they decide to hang it up they certainly don’t owe us anything.  They only owe it to themselves to stay healthy and strong whether the band carries on or not.  My best to all present and future members of the ABB and to all who read this.

By Dale - 01/11/14

Dickie is still drinking…not sure he has any chance in that state. Butch and the gang are past that. fact is Dickie when intoxicated cant find the “one” and it is a huge problem. They respect his talent but that is it. I saw Dickie last year and drank on stage all show… missed leads…it was sad to see. he still has it….it is just muted by the booze. In the old days they were all messed up but now it is different….I so wish it would work ....but without Dickie turning over a new leaf….no chance in my opinion.

By - 01/12/14

Assumptions are ignorant, especially when you are talking about a 70 yr old man and his health and lifestyle. Better get the facts before you go slandering online.
Perhaps, he is still drinking, maybe he is in poor health. Don’t be so callous about others have a little empathy. BTW, Dickie is a clothing brand. Forrest Richard Betts’ nickname is spelled Dickey.

By SusanT - 01/14/14

I think Dickey is an excellent guitarists and, obviously, an important part of the band. However, if he still has a drinking problem he needs to take care of that first.  Alcohol is the toughest to kick because it is available everywhere.  I wish him the very best.

By Jack - 01/18/14


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