Monday, June 27, 2011

Former Allman Brothers Band drummer Frankie Toler celebrated Saturday in Manatee (with video)

Dan Toler  honoring his brother Frankie on June 25, 2011. By Wade Tatangelo

Former Allman Brothers Band drummer David "Frankie" Toler, who died June 4 in Bradenton, didn't want a funeral.

He requested a celebration.

And that's what he received Saturday at Tom Mossman's beautiful grounds and the barn he uses as a recording studio/practice facility in the woods of Parrish.

Frankie's big brother Dan Toler, the guitar great who played with his sibling in the Allman Brothers, Gregg Allman Band and Dickey Betts' Great Southern, delivered a performance teeming with emotion and skill that bellied the fact health conditions forced him to sit throughout the set. 

Frankie (left) with Dan Toler. By Wade Tatangelo.

Percussionist Chaz Trippy, who played with his best friend Frankie, and Dan, in the Gregg Allman Band from 1982 to ’89, organized the commemorative concert with Mossman and Angie Vail Cook.

Gary Guzzardo, who replaced Frankie in the Marshall Tucker Band during the 1990s, augmented Trippy’s spot-on congas work. Dan’s longtime collaborator Johnny Townsend handled vocal duties on moving renditions of Allman faves like “I’m No Angel” — Gregg’s smash 1987 single featuring the Toler brothers and Trippy — as well as “Midnight Rider” and “Statesboro Blues.”

Betts couldn’t attend Saturday because he was not feeling well, according to a close friend of his. But Great Southern members Mike Kach (keyboard/vocals), Frankie Lombardi (drums/vocals) and Mark Serio (guitar) enhanced the festivities in honor of their pal.
Another highlight was watching on a large inflatable screen an unreleased DVD of the Gregg Allman Band performing at Daytona Beach in 1987. It features fierce interplay between the Tolers on "Whipping Post."  The crowd roared every time the camera focused on Frankie.

Good times inside Mossman Barn. By Wade Tatangelo

More than 300 friends and admirers were there with folding chairs and coolers enjoying the festivities that also included delicious barbecue for sale and raffles to raise money for Frankie's widow Marsha and their daughter Aja Kayle.

The congregation of Sarasota-Manatee musicians were all smiles, whether on stage or sitting around telling stories about the good old days.

People enjoyed a superb Southern party.

And Frankie Toler's last wish was definitely granted.

Former Allman drummer leaves lasting legacy
David ‘Frankie’ Toler: 1951-2011

Frankie Toler - Celebration of Life - Parrish, FL


Anonymous said...

his widow marsha....and his daughter aja as well. who was the one who stayed by his side from the beginning when he first got sick.

Wade Tatangelo said...

Thank you for pointing that out. Their daughter, Aja Kayle, who was mentioned in my original story, has been added to this one. Apologies for the oversight.

Anonymous said...

Frankie was one of the greatest drummers I've ever seen.