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- Posted on Feb 26th 2013 10:50AM by Jason MacNeil
"It is with great regret and sadness that our dear friend and loved one, Dan Toler, passed away peacefully in his sleep last night," a message on Toler's Facebook page read yesterday. "Future service to be announced. Please keep Debbie and the family in your prayers." The post asked for the family's privacy to be respected while thanking fans and friends for their love and support.
"With deep sadness, the Allman Brothers Band marks the passing of guitarist 'Dangerous' Dan Toler, following a valiant battle with ALS disease," the Allman Brothers Band wrote on its Facebook site yesterday. "He was a very talented guitarist with a gregarious personality. He will be missed by all that knew him. Rest peacefully brother Dan. The Allman Brothers Band."
According to Ultimate Classic Rock, Toler was diagnosed with the disease in 2011. Several benefit gigs were staged on his behalf to help offset the medical costs while raising awareness of ALS. Toler's death comes after his brother David "Frankie" Toler -- another former member of the Allman Brothers Band -- died in June 2011 from complications following a liver transplant. He was 59.
Having grown up in his hometown of Connersville, Indiana, Toler said he was influenced by the likes of Chet Atkins, Lonnie Mack and others. A bio on his official site says Toler played in some local bands before joining the Melting Pot Band in 1969 as a guitarist. In late 1975, Toler received a call from Dickey Betts and Great Southern Band who were looking for a guitarist. "I didn't feel I had a chance at an audition, let alone the gig," Toler wrote. A few days later Toler's phone continued ringing. "Finally I'd had enough and answered it," he said. "A voice on the other end said, 'I am looking for Dan Toler, this is Dickey Betts calling' and I said 'yeah right' and hung up the phone. Fortunately, he called back."
Toler joined the group and appeared on the band's Dangerous and Atlanta's Burning Down albums. In 1979 Toler joined the Allman Brothers and worked on three albums: 1979's Enlightened Rogers, 1980's Reach For the Sky and 1981's Brothers of the Road. In 1982 the musician followed Gregg Allman when he formed the Gregg Allman Band and recorded two records as a member, the last being 1988's Just Before the Bullets Fly. After the Allman Brothers Band reformed in 1990, Toler went another direction and created the Toler Brothers Band with his brother David.
The guitarist worked with a variety of other acts periodically ranging from Derek Trucks and Three Doors Down to Warren Haynes and Charlie Daniels. After another stint with Betts in 2002 in Great Southern Band, Toler formed a blues-jazz combo in 2008 before he began working with John Townsend. The duo released the Toler/Townsend Band in Europe in early 2009.
Musicians took to their Twitter sites to express their condolences including singer Myles Kennedy.
"Very sad to hear guitarist 'Dangerous' Dan Toler passed away," Kennedy tweeted. "Such a cool guy. RIP brother."
Guitarist Joe Bonamassa echoed similar sentiments. "Rip Dan Toler a legend and a super nice guy," the musician wrote.
Toler is survived by his wife Debbie and his daughter Danielle Franz.