Fans of the Allman Brothers Band were shocked less than a month ago when guitarists Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes announced they were leaving the band at the end of 2014 to focus on their own projects. Now, Derek Trucks tells Rolling Stone he thinks the announcement will add a new intensity to the upcoming run at New York’s Beacon Theatre, which is set for 14 nights beginning March 7th.
“I’m more excited about the Beacon this year than I have been in quite a few years,” Trucks says. “I think knowing that every show counts is going to make it a pretty special year. I have no idea how it’s all going to shake out in the end with the band, but I want to see this incarnation go out in a full blaze of glory. I want to see it go out with just the best sets we’ve ever played.”
So why did Trucks and Haynes decide to announce their exit together, after 15 and 25 respective years in the band? “I’ve been talking about it for years, not wanting to be on the road 300 days a year with kids growing up,” he says. “There’s so much love and loyalty for that band and music that it’s a tough call to make. I’ve given my half-resignation many years in a row. This year it was known that this was going to be it.”
While playing in the Allmans has been Trucks’ life for virtually all his adult years, he says he isn’t sad about ending the chapter. “It’s pretty liberating,” he says. “I feel really great about all the music that we’ve been able to make and keeping it thriving and alive.”
As for the future of the band, Gregg Allman recently told Relix the band will stop touring after 2014 but left the door open for a reunion down the line. Trucks, though, is a little more hesitant about the idea of reuniting. “My gut tells me this is it,” he says. “I’m not one that loves the idea of reunions just for the sake of doing it. I love the idea of it going out just as strong as it possibly can and letting that be the legacy. But, you know, I don’t want to be the stick in the mud either. So it’s a fine line.”