Sabtu, 02 April 2011

Dickey Betts

Forrest Richard "Dickey" Betts (born December 12, 1943) is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, and composer best known as a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band. He was inducted with the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and also won with the band a best rock performance Grammy Award for his instrumental "Jessica" in 1996. Recognized as "one of the most influential guitar players of all time", he had early on in his career one of rock’s finest guitar partnerships with the late Duane Allman introducing melodic twin guitar harmony and counterpoint which "rewrote the rules for how two rock guitarists can work together, completely scrapping the traditional rhythm/lead roles to stand toe to toe".Dickey Betts was ranked #58 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list in 2003.


Born in Bradenton, Florida, Betts grew up in a musical family listening to bluegrass, country and Western Swing music. He started playing ukelele at five and, as his hands got bigger, moved on to mandolin, banjo and guitar. At sixteen and feeling the need for something "a little faster," he played in a series of rock bands on the Florida circuit, up the East Cost and into the midwest before forming the Second Coming with Berry Oakley in 1967. According to Rick Derringer, the "band called the Jokers" referenced in "Rock and Roll Hootchie Coo" was one of Betts' early groups.

--Major Recording Career --

In 1969, Duane Allman had parlayed success as a session player into a contract with former Otis Redding manager Phil Walden. Walden planned to back a power trio featuring Allman, who needed to put together the rest of the band. When Allman organized jam sessions as part of his effort to recruit Oakley for the group, Betts sat in. During those jams twin guitar parts, influenced by the harmonized fiddle and guitar parts Betts had heard on bluegrass and Bob Wills records growing up, began to emerge and give the sound a unique flavor. Those harmonies gave the putative power trio an additional guitarist (the band eventually grew to six members) and Dickey Betts the opening for stardom as a co-founder and key contributor to the Allman Brothers Band. In addition to the harmonies, his melodic, country-esque lead guitar style contrasted perfectly with Duane's fiery, blues/jazz-based style. He also wrote songs including "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Blue Sky" that became radio and concert staples.

After the death of Duane Allman in late 1971, Betts became the band's sole guitarist and also took on a greater singing and leadership role. He went on to write such Southern Rock classics as "Jessica" and the Allmans' biggest commercial hit, "Ramblin' Man".

Jessica was inspired by his daughter, Jessica Betts, born on May 14, 1972 to Betts' first wife, Sandy Bluesky Wabegijig, a Native American whom Betts married in 1973. The pair was divorced in 1975 and Betts married Paulette, a close friend and personal assistant of singer and actress Cher.

Betts's first solo album, Highway Call, was released in 1974, and featured the late fiddle player Vassar Clements. After the Allmans fell apart in 1976, Betts released more albums, starting with Dickey Betts & Great Southern in 1977, which featured the hit "Bougainvillea", co-written with future Hollywood star Don Johnson. In 1978 he released an album entitled Atlanta's Burning Down.

The Allman Brothers reformed in 1979 for the album Enlightened Rogues with two members of Great Southern replacing ABB members unwilling to participate in the reunion: guitar player Dan Toler (for pianist Chuck Leavell) and bassist David Goldflies. Several albums would follow with various personnel changes until steadily declining record and concert ticket sales and tensions around management issues led the group to again disband in 1982.

Betts returned to his solo career, performing live at smaller venues and releasing the album Pattern Disruptive in 1989. When a one-off reunion tour was proposed in support of the ABB "Dreams" box set released in 1989 to commemorate the bands 20th anniversary, Betts' solo band again supplied the ABB's other guitarist, this time slide guitar master Warren Haynes. The one-off tour's success resulted in a permanent reunion which absorbed Betts' energies for the remainder of the '90's. This band lineup went on to release three acclaimed studio albums between 1990 and 1994.

Betts was replaced on numerous tour dates throughout the mid-to-late 90s for what were reported in the media as "personal reasons". While remaining active as a touring band, they failed to release an album of new studio material after 1994's Where It All Begins. Haynes and ABB bassist Allen Woody formed Gov't Mule with former Dickey Betts Band drummer Matt Abts as a side project in 1994 and left the Allman Brothers for Gov't Mule full-time in 1997.

Things reached a breaking point when the remaining original ABB members, Allman, Trucks and Jaimoe, suspended Betts (reportedly via fax) prior to the launch of the band's Summer Campaign Tour 2000. Betts was temporarily replaced for that tour by Jimmy Herring, formerly of the Aquarium Rescue Unit. When Betts filed suit against the other three original Allmans the separation turned into a permanent divorce. Betts re-formed the Dickey Betts Band in 2000 and toured that summer. The band reassumed the name Dickey Betts & Great Southern and added Betts' son Duane (named after Duane Allman) on lead guitar.

In 2005 Betts released the DVD "Live from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame".

Betts announced that a December 17, 2009 performance in New York City, on his 66th birthday and at the site of many of his greatest achievements, would be his last touring date. "I’m not retiring from playing. I’m sure there will be some great special events that I’ll be at in the future. But for now, I look forward to waking up tomorrow with nothing on my schedule."

The style of Betts' first name (actually his middle name, as his actual first name is Forrest) varied throughout the years:

•    1969: "Dick Betts" in the jacket of The Allman Brothers Band self-titled album.
•    1970-72: "Dicky Betts" in the jackets of Idlewild South and Eat A Peach.
•    1973-74: "Richard Betts" on Brothers and Sisters and his first solo album, Highway Call.
•    Afterward: "Dickey Betts."


In the early days of the Allman Brothers, Betts played a 1961 Gibson SG, given to Duane Allman in 1971 to use as an all-slide guitar. He then used a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, calling it "Goldie". He has recently painted it red. Early on in the Allman Brothers days he occasionally played a Fender Stratocaster , and has been an on-and-off endorser and player of PRS guitars. As of April 2009, Betts is using a red Fender Telecaster with a pearloid pickguard. Betts can also be seen playing a Cherry Red 1961 Gibson ES-335.


Solo Albums

•    Highway Call (1974)(Richard Betts)
•    Dickey Betts & Great Southern (1977) (Dickey Betts & Great Southern)
•    Atlanta's Burning Down (1978) (Dickey Betts & Great Southern)
•    Night (Unreleased Country Album) (1982) (Dickey Betts)
•    Pattern Disruptive (1989) (Dickey Betts Band)
•    Let's Get Together (2001) (Dickey Betts Band)
•    The Collectors #1 (2002) (Dickey Betts & Great Southern)
•    Back Where It All Begins: Live at the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame & Museum (DVD) (2005) (Dickey Betts & Great Southern)
•    The Official Bootleg (Live) (2006) (Dickey Betts & Great Southern)
•    Dickey Betts & Great Southern - Rockpalast: 30 Years Of Southern Rock, 1978 - 2008 (DVD)

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