Duane Trucks write a heartfelt letter about losing his mentor and friend Col.Bruce Hampton

Duane Trucks write a heartfelt letter about losing his mentor and friend Col.Bruce Hampton
 
    To say Col. Bruce Hampton and the Trucks family was close would be an understatement. Throughout the years he would Jam with Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks. He also started a friendship with his nephew Derek Trucks when Derek was a just a 12 year old guitar prodigy. While they started their relationship Duane Trucks was just three years old. Duane was connected to Bruce Hampton for as long as he remembers. When he got older Duane was the full time drummer of many of Col.Bruce Hampton's musical projects. He backed the Col. hundreds of times in different bands such as Pharaoh Gummit and many Quark Alliances Projects. He literally moved from Jacksonville to Atlanta to learn from Col. Bruce and soak up everything the legend could teach him. Of course we all know now that Duane is one of the drummers for Widespread Panic and Hard Working Americans. But there was no place he would rather be than to celerbrate his father figure's 70th Birthday at the Fox this past Monday. I could not even pretend to imagine how Duane feels after the tragic turn of events. But he penned this heartfelt note about his departed friend. You can read the letter below. H/T Jambase 
Kevin Long
 

Col. Bruce Hampton shaped my entire being. I feel so lucky to have been around him since I was too young to remember. Having older brothers who revered him like some musical, philosophical guru trickled down to me in my formative years. Whether it was reading J. Krishnamurti before I could really understand it or listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan or Albert Ayler before I knew what I was hearing, his impact was everywhere around me. After high school I moved to Atlanta from Jacksonville with the hopes of one day playing with him. 

Just through listening to old tapes my brothers had of ARU as a teenager, I felt like he’d already taught me some ancient secret knowledge. Later I would find out first hand that that was exactly what he taught me. He taught me about transcendence. Transcending your instrument, transcending the music, transcending art itself, reaching for life. He always said “We’re not here to play music, we’re here to put the Devil in the room.” I always took “the Devil” as spirit. Whether it was the spirit of joy, the spirit of sadness, the spirit of humor, it didn’t matter what the emotion was. He would say “I don’t wanna hear what you practice in your bedroom. I wanna hear you!! How do you feel today? What’d you eat for lunch? Play THAT!” 

Everyday I learn something more from him. Last night. Today. Everyday. He was an open channel to the universe. We’re all lucky to have shared the planet with him. What we thought we were planning as a birthday celebration ended up being the most poetic farewell imaginable. Actually, it was unimaginable. As is everything with him. Now we say our goodbyes to him, but he will never be gone. He lives in every note played by the thousands of musicians he inspired. He lives in every conscious thought of those he enlightened with his wisdom. Now he’s off to be in the stars that so inspired him. Thank you Bruce. Thank you for the eyes to see and ears to hear.

 

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