One of the co-founders of the Allman Brothers Band has died after shooting himself in front of his wife, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Butch Trucks, 69, the legendary band’s drummer, shot himself in front of his wife of 25 years at their condo in West Palm Beach, Florida on Tuesday night.
According to police reports a woman frantically called 911 at around six in the evening telling the operator that her husband shot himself with a pistol, reports the Daily Mail.
As police cars were sent to the address, the caller continued conversing with the dispatcher, but was so hysterical that she could barely speak.
The 911 operator alerted the squad cars that Trucks’ wife, painter Melinda and son were waiting for them in the hallway at the Villa Del Lago complex.
Trucks was still breathing when police arrived, but died moments later.
Trucks, whose real first name was Claude, was born in Florida and was a musical prodigy, already drumming with local bands by the age of 8.
In the late 60s, he was approached by Gregg and Duane Allman and together the trio formed The Allman Brothers ,who became famous for hits like Rambling Man and Whipping Post.
It appears that Trucks was suffering from financial woes of late.
In 2011, he was forced to sell his home in Palm Beach for $2 million to play off a $800,000 mortgage. The house was possibly worth twice as much. And according to federal records the musician also owed money to the I.R.S.
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Last year, the I.R.S. were after Trucks for additional tax money owed totaling more than half a million dollars.
He also wrestled with drug and alcohol problems.
In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Trucks revealed that in the early 70s he would start off his day with an alcoholic drink and snort cocaine in the evening.
After the band first broke up in 1974, he attempted to kick his habit by moving his family to Tallahassee. He was able to give up beer and cocaine, but couldn’t quit drinking wine.
After his son and daughter grew up and moved out, Trucks and his wife moved to Palm Beach and that’s when Trucks said he realized he had a serious problem with alcohol. In October 2001, the drummer quit cold turkey.
“You have to make the commitment deep down inside that this is enough. That you care more for the people around you than the booze. My message is 'life can get better,''' he said.
Tributes have been pouring in for the talented drummer including Gregg Allman who wrote, “I’m heartbroken. I’ve lost another brother and it hurts beyond words.”
Sadly Gregg is the last surviving founder of the band. Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in 1971.
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