Dan Toler, former guitarist with the Allman Brothers band has died, aged 65.
Rolling Stone reports Toler had been battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known also as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and had been unable to speak or play guitar for the last few months of his life. Toler was diagnosed with the disease in 2011.
Ticket Sarasota tells Toler’s wife, Debbie put her husband to bed on Sunday night and found he had passed away in his sleep when she returned to him around 8:00am on Monday morning.
Close friend and former percussionist for the Allman Brothers, Chaz Trippy said of Toler, “his ability to make people laugh and feel good and happy was amazing. That smile of his is just a force of life and, God, how he loved playing that guitar.”
Trippy told Ticket Sarasota he had visited Toler last Friday where he had signed that being unable to play the guitar was breaking his heart. “I didn’t cry in front of him but I sure did when I got back into my car,” Trippy said.
A public announcement was made on Dan Toler’s Facebook page, where hundreds of fans have expressed their sadness, sympathy and support.
“It is with great regret and sadness that our dear friend and loved one, Dan Toler, passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. Future service to be announced. Please keep Debbie and the family in your prayers. We would also ask at this time that you would respect the family’s privacy. The Toler family thanks you for all your love and support.”
“Dangerous” Dan Toler found his start on the professional music scene playing with Dickey Betts & Great Southern on their 1977 self-titled debut album. Toler joined the Allman Brothers in 1979 following the group’s reformation and played with the band until 1982. When the Allman Brothers broke up again, Toler toured with the Gregg Allman Band, along with his brother David “Frankie” Toler and recorded the hits songs “I’m No Angel” and “Just Before the Bullets Fly.” In 2009, Dan Toler joined forced with John Townsend of the Sanford-Townsend Band and the pair released a self-titled blues album, The Toler/Townsend Band.
Dan Toler died in his home in Manatee Country, Florida.