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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Allman Brothers drummer ButchTrucks shot himself - My prayers are with his friends and family

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks killed himself in front of his wife, police reports released Wednesday show.
The 69-year-old Trucks shot himself in the head Jan. 27 at his home, the West Palm Beach police reports show.

'My husband just shot himself! My husband just shot himself!,' the wife of Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks screams into the phone seconds after what sounds like a gunshot.
DailyMail.com has obtained from police the audio of the 911 call that Melinda Trucks, the legendary drummer's wife of more than 25 years, placed January. 24 when the rocker took his own life in his waterfront condo in West Palm Beach, Fla.
The heavily edited recording -- police stripped all identifying words from the original -- starts with a loud noise believed to be the moment Trucks pulled the trigger on the pistol he held to his head as Melinda lets out blood-curdling screams.
'Allo, allo, my husband just shot himself,' Melinda yells into the phone. 'My husband just shot himself.'
'What did he shoot himself with,' the 911 operator asks.
'A pistol,' Melinda replies as the voice of a man sounds off in the background. According to the original police report, Trucks' singer son Vaylor may have been at the scene.
'Is he breathing still, though,' the operator asks.
'No, no,' Melinda replies. 'He shot himself in the head.
'I can't look at him,' Melinda says. 'What do I do? Call the hospital? .... Oh, I can't touch him!'
'No ma'am, you don't have to call the hospital ... You don't have to touch him ... Paramedics and the police are on the way,' the operator responds. 'Just stay outside.'
The transcript of the frantic call made to West Palm Beach Police also provides the awful details of the drummer's death at home in the downtown waterfront Villa Del Lago complex.
A woman caller who is unidentified on the transcript but described as 'hysterical' dialed 911 at 6:02 p.m., the transcript shows. 


The transcript of the frantic call made to West Palm Beach Police about 6:00 p.m. also  provides the awful details of the drummer's death at home in the downtown waterfront Villa Del Lago complex.
A woman caller who is unidentified on the transcript but described as 'hysterical' dialed 911 at 6:02 p.m., the transcript shows. 
The police dispatcher reported the woman saying her 'husband just shot himself' with a pistol.
The caller used Trucks' real first name, Claude, when she identified the victim.
As several squad cars rolled toward the apartment building, the caller continued talking to the dispatcher although she was so distraught she couldn't speak in complete sentences.
Trucks suffered a gun shot wound to the head, the caller said. At that point, the caller wasn't sure Trucks was still breathing.
The dispatcher then radioed the officers that Trucks' wife, painter Melinda, and a son were waiting for police in the hallway outside the condo. Trucks had two adult children, a daughter and a son, Atlanta-based musician Vaylor Trucks.
The dispatcher noted Melinda witnessed Trucks pulling the trigger.
Although he was breathing when police arrived, the man considered by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the top 10 drummers in rock history expired seconds later as the dispatcher concluded the call by noting a 'Signal 7,' police code for a dead person.
Police refused to comment but put out a statement confirming that Trucks died in his condo, and investigators did not suspect foul play despite the fact the incident officially still is under investigation.


The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office performed an autopsy Wednesday, but the results won't be known for weeks.
Kathleen Salata, a manager at Villa Del Lago, said Melinda was spotted by residents Wednesday but was 'completely distraught.'
Several residents walking their dogs said they had no clue that the shooting occurred in their building and didn't realize that a legendary rocker lived on the fifth floor.
Todd Brodginski, Trucks' publicist, didn't return repeated calls asking whether the musician appeared depressed as of late.
Palm Beach County court records, meanwhile, show Trucks appeared to be wrestling with financials problems as of late.
In 2011, Trucks had to sell his prized home in Palm Beach for $2 million when it was possibly worth twice as much to pay off a $800,000 mortgage that a bank was trying to foreclose on.
In 2014, Trucks and his wife spent $500,000 on the condo where he shot himself.
And he was hounded by the IRS, according to federal records.

A consummate Floridian, Trucks was born in the Jacksonville area and by age 8 played drums with local bands.
He was playing a gig in Daytona in the late 60s when he was approached by Gregg and Duane Allman. Together, they formed The Allman Brothers Band, which became one of the 70s most popular concert bands.
Trucks moved to the Palm Beach area in the early 1990s. He and Melinda had become stalwarts on the local charity circuit and often made appearances at high-profile dinners to benefit non-profit groups.
He was one of the Allman Brother's Bands two drummers. Through the years, the band broke up and reunited three times and Trucks was there for every reunion. 
During their most recent stretch, from 1999 to 2014, Trucks' own nephew Derek was brought into the band to play guitar.  
After the band's most recent break-up two years ago, Trucks started a new group called Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band. Trucks played his last show on January 6, and the group was scheduled for more shows this spring.
Trucks had been very open about his demons, including the drug and alcohol problem he developed in his early years in the band. 
Trucks told the Palm Beach Post that by 1974, the first thing he did in the morning was drink a beer or wine. He got into cocaine as a way to prolong the night. 
When the band first broke up in 1974, he says he tried to quit both by moving his family to Tallahassee and going back to school to finish college.  
While he was able to kick hard alcohol and drugs, he kept drinking wine.
After his kids left the house, Trucks and his wife moved to Palm Beach where his alcohol demons came back to bite him. 


'I promised myself no more than three glasses and I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it,' he said.  
In October 2001, he quit alcohol completely, without going to rehab of Alcoholics Anonymous. 
'You have to make the commitment deep down inside that this is enough. That you care more for the people around you than the booze. My message is 'life can get better,'' he said
Just this year, Rolling Stone named Trucks and bandmate Jai Johanny 'Jaimoe' Johanson among the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time.   

Trucks was one of two original drummers, along with Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson, who helped formed the rhythms and the drive for The Allman Brothers. Formed in 1969 and led by Duane and Gregg Allman, the group helped define the Southern rock sound that incorporated blues, rock, country and jazz.
Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Trucks joined with the Allman siblings to form the band, including guitarist Dickey Betts and bassist Berry Oakley. They moved to Macon, Georgia, to cut their first record with Capricorn Records.
The two drummers melded their individual styles, with Trucks considered to be the straightforward, driving train rhythm player, while Johanson added his R&B and jazz drumming influences.
The band's 1971 live album, "At Fillmore East," became their seminal breakthrough album, featuring a fusion of jazz, blues and rock. It featured songs like "You Don't Love Me" and a 22-minute version of "Whipping Post."
Trucks also helped encourage a family lineage of musicians. One nephew, Derek Trucks, is the frontman of the Tedeschi Trucks Band and also joined The Allman Brothers band in 1999 as a guitarist. Another nephew, Duane Trucks, is the drummer for Widespread Panic.
Trucks was most recently touring with his band, Butch Trucks and the Freight Train.

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