Allmans’ Dickey Betts ‘Raring to Go’ After Stroke

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Dickey Betts (Photo from his website)

Guitarist Dickey Betts, one of two surviving members of the original Allman Brothers Band, is “raring to go” following the “minor stroke” he suffered in late August. From the musician’s Facebook page on September 14: “Dickey Betts is raring to go. His recovery from his minor stroke is ahead of schedule and he has already started playing his guitar again.”

The original news of his health issue came on August 24: “After describing to his physicians certain post-stroke repercussions, he was strongly advised to give himself more time to recuperate. Doctors have assured Betts that after three to five weeks he will be 100 percent recovered and can resume his touring schedule.”

Just days earlier Betts had added dates to his tour schedule in the Southeast, including what’s being billed as a “homecoming concert” in Clearwater, Fla., on Nov. 5.

Update: Betts is in critical condition following a fall at his Sarasota, Fla. home on September 19

On August 28, an update on Dickey from his manager, David Spero: “Dickey is responding very well to treatment and is very encouraged by the results. He was overwhelmed by the good wishes and prayers sent his way. He told me today that he can’t wait to see his fans on November 1st!”

“Dickey really regrets that he can’t be there for his fans,” says his manager David Spero, “but he has to take care of his health first.”

Betts had used the occasion of his 74th birthday last Dec. 12 to announce his return to touring after a three-year self-imposed “retirement.”

Betts’ manager, Spero, in an article published that day in Florida’s Herald-Tribune, said Betts—who was born in that state and lives in Florida’s Sarasota County—was giving himself a birthday present by hitting the road once more. He decided “to go out and play a select group of dates,” Spero told the newspaper.

The paper also quoted Betts, who said at the time, “Everywhere I go fans keep saying they want me to get out and play again. I think the time is right.”

Betts’ decision to go out and play live music again was a reversal of a decision he made a few years earlier to quit. In an interview with Rolling Stone following his now-suspended retirement announcement, the guitarist attributed his withdrawal from touring to “a little bit of burnout, a little sour grapes, a little bit like a boxer who gives it up.”

The guitarist’s son, Duane Betts, shares lead guitar duties in the band. Also on board: Frankie Lombardi (vocals, drums), Mike Kach (keyboards, vocals), Pedro Arevalo (bass), Damon Fowler (guitar) and Steve Camilleri (drums).

Watch them perform “Whipping Post” at the White Buffalo Saloon on May 15

Related: Our recap of the tour opener

Betts’ return to the road this year was good news for Allman Brothers fans who’d been besieged by one piece of tragic news after another in 2017. Last year alone, founding band members Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks passed away, as did Johnny Sandlin, who produced three of the ABB’s albums. Guitarist Jimmy Nalls, a member of Allmans offshoot Sea Level, also passed away last year.

Dickey Betts Tour Dates (Tickets are available here and here)

Nov 1 Bell Auditorium – Augusta, GA
Nov 3 Pompano Beach Amphitheater – Pompano Beach, FL
Nov 5 Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL
Nov 9 Hampton Beach Casino – Hampton Beach, NH (rescheduled from Aug 31)
Jan 6 Southern Rock Cruise 2019 – Port Tampa Bay, FL

Watch Dickey Betts play “Blue Sky” with the Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2013

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