Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Tim McGraw Among Stars Paying Tribute to Late Allman Brothers Guitarist Dickey Betts

In the wake of Dickey Betts’ death on April 18, a variety of artists are paying tribute to the founding Allman Brothers Band singer/guitarist. According to his family, Betts died peacefully at his home in Osprey, Florida. The 80-year-old musician’s longtime manager, David Spero, told the Associated Press that Betts had been battling cancer for more than a year and he also suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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Former Allman Brothers Band guitarist/singer Warren Haynes wrote a lengthy homage to Betts, who invited him to join his solo band during the 1980s before he became a member of the re-formed Allmans in 1989.

[RELATED: Farewell to the Ramblin’ Man: Founding Allman Brothers Band Singer/Guitarist Dickey Betts Dead at 80]

“Such a huge loss. Not only for our musical family, but for the world of music in general,” Haynes wrote. “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.”

Haynes Discussed Betts’ Influence on His Own Guitar Playing

Haynes went on to explain how he loved the Allman Brothers Band before he even started learning guitar. He then noted how he would listen to the group classic live album At Filmore East “for hours on end,” and it became the album that influenced his playing the most.

“What a beautiful gift to up and coming guitar players who might want to travel down that road of improvisation and melding influences,” Warren noted. “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.”

On Joining Betts’ Solo Band and Then the Allmans

He also discussed the “pinch me” moment when Betts asked him to join his solo band in 1986. Haynes pointed out that things got even more exciting for him two-and-a-half years later, when he “got the call to join my favorite band of all time.”

Haynes went on the play with the Allman Brothers Band from 1989 to 1997, and from 2001 until the group’s retired in 2014. Warren finished his tribute by reflecting on his experience playing with Betts for so many years.

Forever Grateful to Betts

“Dickey Betts and I created a lot of great music together and what I took from him was a major contribution in my life,” he shared. “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. … 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.”

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Pay Homage

Meanwhile, former Allman Brothers Band slide-guitar player Derek Trucks and his wife and collaborator, Susan Tedeschi, also posted a tribute to Betts.

“One of the best to ever do it,” the couple wrote. “Rest easy Dickey.”

Tim McGraw Pays Tribute to Betts

Country star Tim McGraw shared a tribute along with an archival photo of him playing one of Betts’ guitars.

“Legendary Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers Band was kind enough to lend me his guitar strap for this tour,” McGraw wrote. “So honored to wear it and so sad that he’s gone. All of our love to his family and friends.”

Joe Bonamassa Posts Recollection in Betts’ Honor

Acclaimed blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa wrote, “Rest in Peace. My first concert was Dickey Betts at Coleman’s in Rome, New York in 1983. Blew my mind and made me want a Les Paul. My thoughts and prayers go out to Duane and the entire Betts family.”

Marshall Tucker Band’s Doug Gray Pays Homage

Marshall Tucker Band frontman Doug Gray also penned an homage to Betts that reads in part, “The memories hit me hard this morning after learning of his passing. The monuments that he helped to create for southern rock will never be replicated. From the beginning, before achieving incredible success, he was a man that stood strong by himself. The things that matter the most to musicians were things Dickey already thought of.”

Other Tributes

You also can check out tributes from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Beacon Theatre, the famed New York City venue where the Allman Brothers Band played an annual residency for many years.

Photo by M. Von Holden/FilmMagic

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