Brian Farmer, Longtime Warren Haynes Guitar Tech, Dies
Warren Haynes’ longtime guitar tech, Brian Farmer, passed away yesterday at his home near Nashville. The info was announced today via Warren Haynes’ Facebook page with a quote from the guitarist that reads, “He was a close friend, a devoted worker, and a lover of life. We traveled around the world together and shared many experiences—mostly while laughing. He will be missed by a huge circle of friends and family.”
Farmer was a key member of the Gov’t Mule and Allman Brothers road crews since the 1990s, and also worked with Haynes when he toured with other groups like Phil Lesh and Friends. Prior to taking the job with Haynes, he worked for Johnny Cash.
Farmer, who was beloved by those who knew and worked with him, was known for his uncanny resemblance to Haynes, and the pair even shared a birthday. During one Gov’t Mule Halloween show, Farmer was able to trick the crowd into thinking he was the Haynes when he opened the show on guitar. He was also occasionally performed during setbreak with other members of the Gov’t Mule road crew.
Speaking with Jambands.com in 2008, Haynes said:
Brian Farmer was Allen Woody’s friend and at the point we were looking for a guitar tech/bass tech, Woody recommended Farmer and he casually alluded to the fact that, “Oh he kind of looks like you.” I didn’t realize what he meant until I met Farmer and I definitely see the similarities but at the same time we look way different too.
The odd thing about my relationship with Farmer is we didn’t find out until quite some time later that we have the same birthday.
Today also marks the 14th anniversary of original Gov’t Mule bassist Allen Woody’s death in 2000.
Gov’t Mule will release a full statement on Farmer’s death shortly. Relix publisher Peter Shapiro released the following statement:
I think all fans of Warren Haynes will miss the sight of Brian Farmer roaming the wings of the stage, handling and tuning Warren’s guitars so when Warren had them in his hands the sounds that came out of them was always pitch-perfect. His smile and vibe were infectious and will be remembered with a smile forever.
Phil Lesh also weighed in via the Terrapin Crossroads Twitter:
So sad to hear of Brian Farmer’s passing- a true pro and devoted friend. Fare thee well, Farmer- I love you more than words can tell.
Farmer on stage with Gov’t Mule at Bonnaroo 2009- photo by Dean Budnick