Allman Brotherly Love? All Betts Are Off
Two weeks later, he picked up a bit of nasty press for allegedly going on a rampage in his Osprey, Fla., home and doing a brief stint in a psychiatric facility as a result.
What’s the legendary guitarist and founding member of the band to do?
When the going gets tough, the tough retain a good lawyer.
Betts has reportedly hired an attorney and may take legal action against his old band over ownership of the name and for defamation. While in the Big Apple talking to lawyers, Betts found time to talk to Rolling Stone and two New York City newspapers, as well.
“These guys are trying to insinuate that I have a drug problem, and they know damn well that I’m not strung out,” Betts told the New York Daily News. “It’s a bunch of b.s. I’m not abusing any drugs or alcohol. I’m not showing up stumbling onstage.”
The ABB founding guitarist told Rolling Stone that the psychiatric detention and news reports of domestic violence were exaggerated, but admits being “depressed” over his dismissal, which he said was faxed to him by Greg Allman.
“I went through severe depths of depression about the thing,” Betts told Rolling Stone. “I don’t get an explanation, I get a damn fax… I called Greg and asked what’s going on. And he said, ‘I don’t owe you any explanation. You listen to those f’in tapes!”
He explained that two weeks later, he and his wife began “venting” over the situation and she called a friend, who is also a police officer, to intervene. Betts was subsequently admitted to a hospital for evaluation and released.
“The doctors talked to me and released me the next day and told me to take it easy. It hit the damn papers that I was being chased through the woods with dogs and choppers,” Betts said. “I mean, who the hell are we after here, John Dillinger? For Chrissakes, I’m just a lowly guitar player.”
Betts said he never heard from any of his ABB mates after the news broke about the incident, and the silence gave him pause for thought.
“That kind of changed my attitude from thinking there’s some kind of mistake or misunderstanding,” he told Rolling Stone. “They’re out there playing as the Allman Brothers Band and they dropped me. They’re impersonating me, playing a lot of the tunes that I’m famous for playing. It’s not the Allman Brothers Band – I don’t care what they say. That’s why we’re going to take legal recourse and pursue the thing in that manner and maybe we’ll get some answers.”
An announcement in May by the Allman Brothers Band said they would hit the road without Betts this summer, but the band “hopes their good friend and brother will be back on theroad with them this fall.”
He may be considering a lawsuit, but Betts didn’t rule a reunion out in his remarks to the Daily News: “I would like to play with them again. They’re wonderful musicians, but right now they’re not too good at being human beings.”