In memoriam: Claude 'Butch' Trucks Drummer of Allman Brothers Band dies at 69 Claude "Butch" Trucks, founding member and drummer of Allman Brothers Band, has died. He was 69 years old. Butch passed away Tuesday evening in West Palm Beach, Florida. According to police records, the cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The drummer shot himself in the head with a pistol as his wife of 25 years stood near him in their downtown West Palm Beach condo, reports news paper Miami Herald.

Police refused to comment but put out a statement confirming that Trucks died in his condo, and investigators did not suspect foul play despite the fact the incident officially still is under investigation.

Alongside drummer and percussionist Jai "Jaimoe" Johnny Johanson, Trucks helped lay the swinging foundation for southern-rock drumming. Jamoe once asked Duane Allman why he wanted two drummers in the group, according to the Allman Brothers biography One Way Out, and the guitarist referenced Otis Redding and James Brown's dual-drummer bands. Allman Brothers guitarist Dicky Betts said in the book:
"Jaimoe was a real good drummer, but more of a pocket guy... he wasn't really able to handle the power. We needed Butch, who had that drive and strength, freight train, meat-and-potatoes thing. It set Jaimoe up perfectly."

Although Jaimoe left and returned to the group in the Eighties, Trucks provided a constant beat throughout the band's lifespan.

Trucks is survived by his wife, Melinda Trucks, and two adult children, a daughter and a son, Atlanta-based musician Vaylor Trucks.

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