Former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dan Toler has died at the age of 65, reports Billboard.com.
Steve Fayette, a friend of Toler's, confirmed on Feb. 25 that Toler passed away in his sleep after a two-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.
According to Rolling Stone, Toler joined the Allman Brothers in 1979, and played on their comeback album "Enlightened Rogues," as well as their 1980 album, "Reach for the Sky," and the following year's "Brother of the Road."
His battle with ALS was particularly difficult for the musician, as the disease eventually left him unable to speak and unable to play guitar, his close friend Chaz Trippy told Ticket Sarasota.
Singer and actress Bonnie Bramlett, who performed at the two-day Dan Toler ALS Support Benefit Concert Festival at Herschberger Ranch in Sarasota in November 2011, had to choke back tears when she recalled playing the benefit alongside the musician, who was restricted to a wheelchair, but at the time still able to play guitar.
“To see how Danny walked tall through that disease and play guitar so beautifully with his blue eyes burning that night. What a hero," she told the website. “He really showed people how to live, and how to die. He really made you check yourself. What a great man and a great musician.”
A post on his official Facebook page reads, “It is with great regret and sadness that our dear friend and loved one, Dan Toler, passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. Future service to be announced. Please keep Debbie and the family in your prayers. We would also ask at this time that you would respect the family’s privacy. The Toler family thanks you for all your love and support.”
Allman Brothers Band (l to r) Mike Lawler, Dave Goldflies, Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks, Dickey Betts, Dan Toler, Dave Toler.