Dan Toler, former guitarist for the Allman Brothers, has died at 65 in his hometown of Sarasota, Florida, reports Ticket Sarasota.
Toler [second right in the photograph] got his start playing with Dickey Betts & Great Southern, first on their 1977 self-titled debut and then Atlanta’s Burning Down the following year. He joined the Allman Brothers Band for their 1979 reunion album Enlightened Rogues, also playing on Reach For The Sky and Brothers Of The Road, before leaving in 1982. He later played with the Gregg Allman Band, with whom he recorded the albums I’m No Angel and Before Bullets Fly.
Toler joined both the Allman Brothers Band and the Gregg Allman Band with his brother David, a drummer. The two performed as The Toler Brothers throughout the 1990s. David Toler passed away in 2011 from complications related to a liver transplant.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurological disease that rose to prominence after taking the life of its first famous victim, baseball player Lou Gehrig. It is the same disease that has confined Stephen Hawking to a wheelchair. Toler had recently struggled with the effects of ALS – reportedly unable to speak or play guitar for months.
After Toler announced his illness, thousands of people attended a benefit concert to help pay his medical expenses. Among the musicians who performed were Bonnie Bramlett and current Allman Brothers Band guitarist/singer Warren Haynes.
“To see how Danny walked tall through that disease and play guitar so beautifully with his blue eyes burning that night,” she told the Ticket.“What a hero.”
“With deep sadness, the Allman Brothers Band marks the passing of guitarist ‘Dangerous’ Dan Toler, following a valiant battle with ALS disease,” the Allman Brothers Band wrote on its Facebook site yesterday. “He was a very talented guitarist with a gregarious personality. He will be missed by all that knew him. Rest peacefully brother Dan. The Allman Brothers Band.”