Musician Dan Toler died Monday at his home near Sarasota, Florida, after battling Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Nicknamed “Dangerous Dan,” Toler was a prominent rock guitarist who played alongside Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts in the Allman Brothers Band from the late 1970s through the 1980s.
Toler and his brother Frankie then spent much the 1980s playing with the Gregg Allman Band, touring and recording I'm No Angel in 1986 and Just Before the Bullets Fly in 1988. Toler rejoined Betts' Great Southern band in 2002 and later created the Townsend Toler Band with John Townsend. He then joined the Renegades of Southern Rock and wrapped his career with Toler Tucci Band, along with Chaz Trippy from the Gregg Allman Band.
Close friend and former bandmate Trippy recalled visiting Toler as the disease left him unable to speak. He motioned to Trippy, first to his guitar, then to his heart. “He was telling me it was breaking his heart that he couldn't play guitar,” recalled close friend Chaz Trippy. “I didn't cry in front of him but I sure did when I got back into my car.”
After his brother's death in June 2011, Toler announced he had ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Trippy said of Toler's passing, “it's a rough day but a good day. He's up there with his brother now jamming in heaven.”