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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…”

Comments

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 hotlantabandlive.com - 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

Greg will KISS Dickey’s fanny in order to get him back now that Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes are leaving.  Otherwise Greg is stuck with The Greg Allman band, playing at local roadhouse bars for a fraction of what he can earn touring with Dickey and the Bros.  Who is going to finish paying for Greg’s liver transplant?  Ain’t gonna be paid off playing at roadhouse saloons.  Hello Dickey!

By Gus Schultz - 02/02/14

no way Dickey should never play with the ABB lest he gets sober ...

 

By mark z - 02/03/14

Since Dickys son Duane and Greggs son Devon are friends maybe we can get them all together for this 45 ann. of the band at the beacon. Any chance of streaming the shows at the beacon on the web,come on Butch make it happen ???

By Angelo Ruiz - 02/07/14

Yah, it’s a shame. I stopped going to see the ABB after “Where It All Begins”. Just not the same without DB. That’s no knock on Greg or the rest of the band but that’s just my opinion. To me, Dickie’s voice is one of the sweetest things ever in Southern rock, never mind is guitar playing back in the day. I surely hope to see the reunion, but if it doesn’t we’ll always have the music. Back Where It All Begins…

By Looney Tune - 02/07/14

They let go because he was or is a drunk and his playing showed it. I saw them in 99 just before he left and he was terrible, out of key and time. A shame because he was a good player and he had the chops. Not sure Warren wants to share the stage on this last leg but he should be up there for a few songs. Then get him off so they can finish this monster off.

By Jack - 02/08/14

I have an idea. Let’s allow the band to address that issue. The ABB has earned that right!

By Dale Henderson - 02/16/14

Dickey WELL deserved to b ousted the way he was. I seriously think ppl need to do their homework before speaking something different. And yes, Id love to see them together again to wrap it up!

By cathy - 02/16/14

Its Gregg’s band. ..no one else’s…anyone who thinks otherwise is foolish. They are, correction,  were, all members of gregg’s band. Period.

By j b - 02/17/14

When the Dickey split first occurred in 2000 I was so pissed at Gregg and the ABB that I boycotted them for the next 6 years. I’m a Georgia native and lifelong fan. I thought it was so hypocritical of Gregg to fire Dickey based on substance abuse problems. After all, I’ve seen a lot of shitty performances out of Allman in my lifetime.

But in 2006 I went and saw Dickey solo and it was the absolutely worst thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life. He came out on the stage shitfaced drunk right from the get-go. He told us that he was going to “play until we get too drunk” and that’s a quote. Although I think the “we” should have been an “I”.

He flubbed several songs and had to stop and restart them. He stepped on his cord and unplugged himself several times. He couldn’t get his cord plugged back in without the aid of his tech. His slide playing on Statesboro Blues was terrible, and he had to start the song over anyway. He forgot the words to a lot of songs and the ones he did sing were unintelligible. I could go on and on.

It was so bad, I was embarrassed for him. That night, I realized why he was no longer in The Allman Brothers.

By CharlieHorse - 02/19/14

There is so misinformation being spouted here. Kindly go and read “One Way Out’, the recent biography about the Allmans. Dickey Betts basically brought this all on himself. He was an angry, mean alcoholic who wouldn’t get himself cleaned up. The band asked him to leave and get his problems under control and he sued the band. He is out of the band now and he won’t be coming back.

By Dan - 03/06/14

Forget about Betts returning… Just how much wind do you think is still left in Greg’s sails, anyway…?

By Lloyd - 03/07/14

Just saw him tonight at the Newton Theater. What a disapointment! Dickey missed many notes and did not finish jessica, just stopped playing. It seemed the band was trying to carry him all night. I think demon alcohol is still with him. What a shame/

By Don - 03/08/14

i am/was a BIG dickey betts fan,however,if he hasnt kicked what it was that was kickin HIM..he really just needs to sit back with fond memories.his playing has suffered BADLY,and it’s REALLY a cryin shame seein such a dynamic..high energy..bad-ass player spiral out of control.i didnt agree with the way he was terminated,but his playing was affecting the musicians playing around him. his timing was TERRIBLE.just very very sad. i HOPE,and would REALLY like to see him re-unite with the ABB,but im afraid it would turn out to be a disaster.

By greg-3/16/14 - 03/16/14

I don’t know about his current state.  But when I listen to the band on the One Way Out concert album and the even better Jazz Fest 2007, they sound better than they did in the 90’s.  The best version of Every Hungry Woman is on the latter.  I recently downloaded Peakin At The Beacon.  Oh, my.  Dickey sounds awful.  The rest of the band just isn’t jelling either but they are playing the right notes and are in tune I wish he were clean and they could play together again.  But if he’s not, it’s best that they don’t.  God bless all of the Allman Brothers; musicians and roadies; past and present; living and dead. Grover Lewis is a douche.

By Greg - 03/28/14

It all depends on what he wants most. He has to prove himself. I’ve seen him drink all night and cook…..Not excusing him, just saying he still swings.

By LOVE - 04/19/14

I loved Dickey Betts back in the mid’70s - great voice, great songwriter, great guitarist. But his alcoholism destroyed my love for his talents. His physical abuse of women was disgusting.I saw him twice in the later years with the Brothers playing drunk off his ass. He was slurring his words and his guitar playing was sloppy awful. I was front row and you could practically smell the alcohol. I wanted my money back for his disrespect for the music, the band, and the audience. I am certain that band members told him to cut it out. Alcoholics just deny and blame and my guess is that fax was necessary as he wouldn’t listen to reason. He has a chance to come back, but rightfully the Bros won’t take him unless he’s clean, sober, and apologetic. They’ve all been clean for a long time now. I have really enjoyed the live concerts with Trucks and Haynes. They will be missed.

By Doc - 04/20/14

I have not heard Dickey’s side of the story… but the way Gregory expalins it he was told to leave the band until he got well… not fired. But I know that it would be so great to see him come back… I just dont think it will happen until he is sober….... I know there is no song ever that moves me like Bluesky… Duane and Dickey both showed thier brillance…. and it would be so nice to see Dickey play it again with the ABB, good luck Dickey I hope you are well… and Thanks so much for the joy you have brought me with your playing!

By Eli - 05/08/14

I love Dickey and his music.  When I die, I am going to have them play “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” at my Funeral.  I lived in Warner Robins and Macon Georgia in 1970-1971 and saw the ABB at the Byron Pop Festival (The Atlanta Pop Festival for those of you who didn’t live close by) in ‘70 and the first concert at the new (then) Macon Colosseum in ‘71 was with the ABB.

By Dave Levy - 05/17/14

ALL GREGS INSECURITYS ! MAN UP. Duane never had a problem with Dickey!

By Macon Man Macon - 05/22/14

Everyone that is an ABB fan feels they have a vested interest and opinion.  It is easy to think we have a “worthy” opinion because this special band has touched us so deeply over the years. We tend think we are actually part of all that. The trials and tribulations etc. The fact is they should NOT go on. Their run is over and they should accept that and go out with class! Dickey butchering “Blue Sky” or turning up when his son is really ripping it up is sad.  (As he did with DT in the beginning) Or just having the other guitarist turned down in the mix (JP) The last thing I want to see is this band turned into a novelty act or “stones” like tour. God forbid this turns into a tri-bill at Silver Springs with the Brothers, Skynrd and Journey! Maybe the lead singer for Journey,  that they found on Youtube in the Phillipines,  can sit for Greg!! And they can still call it the Allman Bros.! LOL

By Slide - 05/22/14

As a recovering alcoholic for the past 13 years.. I think the band did the right thing…it just doesn’t work being around people who drink when you don’t… I hope Dickey gets his stuff together…to be onstage with the rest of his Brothers would be a great way to end the Allman Brothers legacy

By Tom Antonacchio - 06/03/14

I personally would love to see that. I do not know if Dickey still “has it”,  as I have not seen him in a few years, but I think an attempt should be made. Think of the musicianship with Warren, Dickey, and Derek…just blows your mind thinking of it. I would love to see it, but if it cannot work as has been seen with other bands, that would be too bad.

By roadawg - 06/03/14

The Bros. are done and as it should be. Derek and Warren will never be replaced….ever. Dickey is now eating ice cream and fishing without bait! Get over it!

By slide - 06/03/14

chuckles at some of these comments… IF Y’all only knew…

By capn - 06/05/14

2cents, Dickie wrote and played the best material the Allmans ever came up with!

By anon - 06/26/14

I THINK ALL OF YOU SHOULD JUST LET DICKEY DO WHATEVER HE WANTS TO. HE WAS WITH THE BAND THROUGH ALL THE TROUBLES, AND WROTE A GOOD PORTION OF THE ABB SONGS. HE IS WHO HE IS, AND HE IS A BLESSED GUITARIST. WE ALL HAVE OUR PROBLEMS, GREGG WAS “CLEAN” WHEN HE GOT FIRED. GREGG HAD HIS OWN PROBLEMS TOO. DICKEY WILL BE PLAYING SOON WITH GREGG, MARK MY WORDS.

By ABB FAN - 08/01/14

Like hank would say play me song bout a dickie betts ramblin man.dickie betts beats most,drunk,blind folded,sick,18 to 80 and always will. I think he’s great.

By Bobby crocker - 08/04/14

I saw them at the Hollywood bowl in 1973 .They are one of the bands I love to hear.It takes me back to my teenage years and great concerts on California. Wish them all the best. Love my memories

By mjdennis56@gmail.com - 08/05/14

Dickey Betts is an integral part of the ABB history and if they are closing up shop, Dickey needs to be at all of the shows IF his health can handle it. Johnny Winter died unexpectedly as did Gary Moore while both were on the road. I want to see Dickey play with them again but not at the cost of killing the old fart. He seems healthy enough to keep up his golf games. Playing 2-1/2 hour ABB shows every other night is a lot harder than golf, though. Get him a Hoveround and stick his ass at the front of the stage. He’ll be just fine. Get him one of those neck laces that page the Fire Department too. Then we know all is well and the show goes on. “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t reach my Les Paul”.

By Stupid old man - 09/13/14

awesome band hope things work out with dickey

By richard - 09/19/14

saw dickey in 2005,2008,twice in 2009,and 2012.he was on top of his game and i should know i have seen the dickey betts band atleast ten times between 1985 to 1988 and 2005 to 2012.i have seen allman brothers 47 times, twice in 1981 and the rest between 1989 and 1999.it would be a great a way to wrap up the band.i hope dickey continues to tour afterwards as the dickey betts band. he very rarely has an off night. hey we all have bad days,lets remember the love dickey gave us and forget any negative thoughts. bless u all

By razz - 09/19/14

I don’t care how big of a problem Dickey Betts was….the suspension (not a firing) by fax was inexcusable…it took Dickey’s dignity away from him…..if they had just took him aside and had him faced the issues, it would have come off like they respected him and they were on his side…I saw Dickey and his band in 2006 in some small town in Maryland…and it was a sensational show…He could have just played the obligatory 75 minutes, but the show was nearly three hours.

By Dan the Man - 11/11/14

Dickey Betts.  I was close to you in a sarasota fl, after hours bar 1977 with an offer to jam.  Your name wasn’t brought up till you left.  I could help you with putting a new band together. I play bari sax, alto sax, flute, guitar and 6 string electric bass.  email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

By Joseph M Hande - 11/16/14

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