Warren Haynes, Bill Kreutzmann, Devon Allman and More Share Tributes to Dickey Betts

April 19, 2024
Warren Haynes, Bill Kreutzmann, Devon Allman and More Share Tributes to Dickey Betts

1991 Kirk West Photography

Yesterday, April 18, Dickey Betts, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter, passed away at age 80. Following confirmation of the artist’s death, an outpouring of memorial posts and memories were shared via social media, delivered by fans, followers, and collaborators of the music great. 

Amongst the most touching notes was one from Warren Haynes, a late ‘80s addition to the Allman Brothers lineup and member of the Dickey Betts Band, who wrote, “RIP Dickey Betts – not sure what to say. Such a huge loss. Not only for our musical family, but for the world of music in general. Aside from being a huge, major influence on my music from before I picked up a guitar, Dickey was the one person I credit for everything amazing that happened in my career. As I have stated many times, I was a huge Allman Brothers fan from the very beginning.”

My oldest brother had the first album in 1969 and it got a ton of play around our house. By the time the Live at Fillmore East record came out in 1971, I was just starting to play guitar and that was with without question the album that influenced me and all my young guitar playing friends the most. We would all listen to it for hours on end, day in and day out. It was a moment and time. What a beautiful gift to up and coming guitar players who might want to travel down that road of improvisation and melding influences.”

The way he and Duane Allman played together was a thing of beauty and glory. Dickey’s style was a combination of all his diverse influences filtered through his personality and what came out was a joyous sound that would directly or indirectly influence all related music to come. Listening as a kid I had no idea that one day our paths would cross and that he would become a mentor to me. In addition to being the huge influence and inspiration that he had been for years, he was also a presence that loomed larger than life.”

The supersized tribute concluded, “It did not take long once I joined his band to realize, standing next to him with that beautiful tone, that I had a lot to work to do on both with my tone and with my style. It was amazingly intimidating to stand there night after night realizing how far I had to go. He threw me in the lake and I had to learn to swim. I am forever grateful for that “once in a lifetime” opportunity. Thanks Dickey.”

Adding his own take, Devon Allman, son of the late Gregg Allman and member of Allman Betts Family Revival with Dickey’s son, Duane, shared, “Uncle, legend, architect….I’m so grateful for all of the music, the decades of encouragement, mentorship, memories and most of all …for the gift of your son. Because of you, I like my father, have a brother Duane.

Bill Kreutzmann wrote at length, “As most of our fans know, the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers have had an intertwined past and we more than just crossed paths over the years — we saw ourselves as fellows, part of a movement that was bigger than either band — the Allman Brothers were, in some ways, the southern counterpart to the Grateful Dead, inventing their own southern take on the psychedelic twist that we were infusing into rock ’n’ roll over in Northern California at the time.”

@dickeybettsofficial was a huge part of the Allman sound and his twin guitar leads with Duane were as influential to southern rock as just about any other single element. Of course, I have my only private memories of Betts, like the time when I became an honorary member of The Allman Brothers at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, some New Year’s Eve long ago. Owsley Stanley dosed Butch Trucks so hard he said his drums turned into marshmallows. Luckily, I know how to play marshmallows,” the Rhythm Devil continued. 

Kreutzmann concluded, “Getting to play behind Betts was just one of those things where you know you are in the company of greatness and you’re just trying to live in that moment. Well, that moment — and many others — will now live forever in my heart.”

Grateful Dead’s Bobby Weir offered his own short and sweet message, “Gonna miss Ol’ Dickey – the wrong end of sunrise ‘n all – Bon Voyage Ol’ Pal…” moe.’s Al Schnier wrote, “Beyond being one of the best, he was a big influence on me as a musician. When we were on stage together for the first time, Dickey joined us on ‘Mexico.’ After it was over, he put his arm around me & said “That’s a great song!” I laughed & replied ‘You wrote it!! I stole it all from you.’”

Susan Tedeschi posted on her Instagram, “Legend!! Dickey we will miss you dearly! Thank you for the music and the memories. One of the top guitarist and bands of all time.” She and her husband, Derek Trucks, another member of the Allmans’ later lineup, shared on their joint account, “One of the best to ever do it. Rest easy Dickey.”

Besides penned homages from fellow music industry alums and frequenters, bands did their part, adding nods to Allman Brothers’ original music and Betts’ personal archive during concerts, which came after the news. A thoughtfully placed “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” tease was included during Spafford’s Harrisburg, Pa., stand. Rumors of an Allman tease during Phish’s inaugural run also swirled following opening night at The Sphere. 

Scroll down to view Instagram posts honoring Dickey Betts.

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A post shared by Warren Haynes (@thewarrenhaynes)

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A post shared by Devon Allman (@devonallmanofficial)

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A post shared by Bobby Weir (@bobweir)

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A post shared by Al Schnier (@alschnier)

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A post shared by Susan Trucks (@susantedeschitrucks)