Ramblin Man Takes a Collar


Allmans find a unique replacement

On July 30, 1993, troubled Allman Brother Band guitarist was enjoying a few post-concert cocktails in the bucolic upstate New York town of Saratoga Springs.  For Betts, who had a history of alcohol abuse problems, the night would not end well.


As the night turned to morning, Betts continued his drinking.  His long-suffering wife, Donna, knowing the guitarist’s penchant for overdoing it, called the police.  Betts had been getting abusive and loud.

When Saratoga Springs Police arrived, Donna told them she wanted to go to the room, get her things and find other accommodations for the night.  A typical clothes job for any patrol cop. 

When the police arrived at Betts’ hotel room, the intoxicated axeman did not want to go along with the program.  He got into a heated debate with the police that escalated into a shoving match.  That will get you put in handcuffs forthwith, and that is where Betts ended up. 

He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment to the dynamic duo of charges, OGA (obstructing governmental administration) and resisting arrest, and immediately checked himself in to an alcohol rehabilitation facility.   

The Allman Brothers Band had a problem.  They were in the middle of a tour and had no lead guitar player.  Heavy metal guitarist Zakk Wylde was a huge Allmans fan and convinced them that he could fill in for the drying out Betts. 

Wylde’s tenure with the band would not last long.  Although a talented musician, he was a little much for the Allmans.  His onstage antics included spitting beer on the crowd, holding the band hostage to never ending guitar solos, and standing on speakers.  He made it through one show before being unceremoniously dismissed. It was an interesting show though.  Some might say pretty damn good.  Have a listen below. 


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