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Published: 2018/06/21

In New Interview, Dickey Betts Says He’s "In Good Shape," Remembers Gregg Allman

Photo by Chris Marden

In a new interview with Billboard guitarist Dickey Betts discusses his comeback tour, admitting his playing is “a little rusty, a little unimaginative right now, but it won’t take long, I’ll work my way back out there. It’s sort of like Tiger Woods; You can’t just come back and start winning golf tournaments again.”

Betts also acknowledges his status as one of the last original members of the Allman Brothers. “I’m really flattered [by the turnout at my shows],” he says. “I know it’s unfortunately because Gregg and the band have, you know, gone away. It’s just me and Jaimoe left, and I know that’s part of it, which is the sad part. But it’s reality, and the good part is I’m still here and I can still play and I know how to put a good band together and play the music.”

Later, when the interview shifts toward the Allman songbook, he points toward the crowd-pleasers as his favorites. “You know, when you write songs they’re like kids. It’s hard to pick a favorite,” he says. “But ‘Jessica’ and ‘Ramblin’ Man,’ ‘Blue Sky’ — ones that are the crowd’s favorites I guess are my favorites. That’s kinda what makes them your favorites, how effective they are, and how the crowd receives them.”

He also adds that despite some carpal tunnel in his right hand, he’s generally “in good shape” and that he could potentially spend some time in the studio. (“A few songs have come to mind,” he admits.)

Thankfully, he also says he and Gregg Allman were able to clear the air before the keyboardist’s passing in May 2017.

“I talked to Gregg several times in the last four years or so, before he passed away,” Betts recalls. “We knew he was sick. We had hopes he would get over it. Most of us knew he had cancer, but we didn’t let that get out because he didn’t want the public to know that. But we knew. In the end, when he got really sick, of course I called him about every other day. The ironic thing is here’s a guy who’s got the greatest voice I’ve ever worked with, one of the greatest blues singers of all time, and he couldn’t talk on the phone. He had to whisper. It was really sad. He enjoyed talking when I called him and when we got together, so that’s what counts.”

To read the full article on Billboard click here.

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