The Allman Brothers Band Accept Their Lifetime Achievement Grammy Without Dickey Betts
The Allman Brothers Band received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Grammy in Los Angeles. All seven members of the current band attended the ceremony, along with former keyboardist Chuck Leavell and the families of late band co-founders Duane Allman and Berry Oakley. Despite announcing that he would accept his Grammy alongside his former band, estranged founding guitarist Dickey Betts did not attend last night’s ceremony. Betts has not shared the stage with The Allman Brothers Band in almost 12 years, though many onlookers hoped last night’s award would be a step closer to a reunion.
Despite receiving a prestigious honor, The Allman Brothers Band’s acceptance speech was not broadcast on CBS. The award ceremony’s announcer briefly mentioned the group’s award and showed a 1980s press shot featuring a short-lived lineup which included oft-forgotten members like Dan Toler, Frankie Toler, David Goldflies and Mike Lawler. The group’s extended, 22-minute acceptance speech included reflections from current members Gregg Allman, Jaimoe, Butch Trucks, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge and Marc Quinones, as well as Leavell, Duane Allman’s daughter Galadrielle Allman and Berry Oakley’s children Brittany and Berry. Gregg Allman spoke first, addressing his recent health problems, thanking his fans and nodding to his “unsung heroes” and road crew. He remained by the podium while the rest of his band addressed the crowd.
Next, drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks both delivered fun, story-filled speeches. “I was on my way to New York to become a starving jazz musician when I met Duane Allman,” Jaimoe joked. “[My friend] told me, you should go make some money by playing with those white boys.” Trucks also described his first conversation with Jaimoe and poked fun at himself by saying, “I tend to talk a lot.”
The newer additions to The Allman Brothers Band spent less time behind the podium but each offered some interesting thoughts. Haynes discussed the surreal circumstances that lead him from the ABB-inspired bar band Blue Sky to the Brothers, Derek Trucks—who tried not to speak but was pushed to the front of the stage by his uncle Butch—reminded the crowd that The Allman Brothers Band was an interracial band with “balls of steel” playing clubs in the South, Burbridge both thanked Col. Bruce Hampton and paid tribute to late Allman Brothers Band bassist Allen Woody and Quinones apologized to the academy for his band’s lengthy speeches (Burbridge humorously ran back to the podium when he realized he forgot to thank his wife).
Leavell broke the news that Betts was “unable to attend” the ceremony and thanked the audience on his behalf. He also thanked longtime band friends Bill Graham, Tom Dowd and Bill Walton.
While they remain united onstage, the current members of The Allman Brothers Band were up against each other on the ballot. Three of the five albums’ in the Best Blues Album category featured members of the historic jamband: Low Country Blues (Gregg Allman), Man in Motion (Warren Haynes) and Revelator (Tedeschi Brucks Band, which features Derek Trucks and Oteil Burbridg). Tedeschi Trucks Band ended up taking home the award for Revelator.