SARASOTA, Fla., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dan Toler has died of Lou Gehrig's disease at his home in Sarasota, Fla., his website said. He was 64.
Toler, who had not been able to speak or play guitar in recent months, died in his sleep early Monday, Chaz Trippy, Toler's longtime friend and musical collaborator, confirmed to The Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, Fla.
"His ability to make people laugh and feel good and happy was amazing," Trippy told the newspaper. "That smile of his is just a force of life and, God, how he loved playing that guitar."
Trippy said he talked to Toler about "the old days" when he visited him last Friday.
"He couldn't speak but he squeezed my hand," Trippy said.
"A Celebration of Life for Dan Toler" is to be held March 9 in Sarasota, the Herald-Tribune said.
Known as "Dangerous Dan," the musician played with his brother, the late drummer David "Frankie" Toler, in several famous groups, including Dickey Betts & Great Southern. The siblings also performed together with Betts and Gregg Allman in The Allman Brothers Band in the 1970s and '80s, then in The Greg Allman Band, and on their own as The Toler Bros. in the 1990s.
Dan Toler rejoined Betts for several years in the band Great Southern around 2002, then performed with John Townsend as part of the Townsend/Toler Band. He also was a member of The Renegades of Southern Rock and the Toler Tucci Band, the Herald-Tribune said.