Police: Founding Allman Brothers Band member, Butch Trucks, committed suicide

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

What You Need To Know: The Allman Brothers Band

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Founding Allman Brothers Band member and drummer, Claude "Butch" Trucks Jr., committed suicide in his Florida apartment last week, according to a recently released police report.

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Trucks, 69, was found in the residence on the 1600 block of Flagler Drive by West Palm Beach police on Tuesday at 6 p.m. According to the report, Trucks' wife witnessed the suicide. Police say Trucks died of a gunshot wound to the head and a pistol was found at the scene.

Trucks was part of the legendary Jacksonville music act The Allman Brothers Band, which was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Trucks moved to Palm Beach County in the 1990s.

Trucks is survived by his wife, artist Melinda Trucks of West Palm Beach and Sauve, France, four children, four grandchildren and "all of the Allman Brothers Band, their families and Road Crew…" according to a statement released by his publicist.

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Save for a short stint in the 1980s, Trucks was a constant behind the drum kit for the Allmans, from their founding in 1969 until their final show in 2014. Working alongside fellow drummer Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson, Trucks helped established the two-drummer sound many Southern rock groups would emulate but few could exactly copy.

Trucks and Johanson were listed among Rolling Stone's 100 greatest drummers of all time. As Rolling Stone wrote in that poll, "Jaimoe's pedigree as a Sixties soul drummer with the likes of Otis Redding meshes with Trucks' bluesy, rock-steady pulse to form a syncopated beat logic all their own."

He battled problems with alcohol during his career. In an interview with the Palm Beach Post in 2011, Trucks said that in 1974, he was "on the tail end of a three- or four-year drunk. When I woke up every day, the first thing I did was go get beer or wine."

He finally stopped drinking altogether in 2001, saying, "You have to make the commitment deep down inside that this is enough."

He and his wife Melinda had lived in the Palm Beach area since 1999.

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