Allman Brothers Band drummer David "Frankie" Toler dies in Bradenton at 59
David "Frankie" Toler -- former Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman Band and Marshall Tucker Band drummer -- died Saturday at Tidewell hospice care in Bradenton after a prolonged illness following a liver transplant. He was 59.
"Frankie was absolutely the best drummer I have ever played with in my entire life," older brother and guitarist Dan Toler said in a statement. "He was a part of my life for the past 60 years and to lose him now is just devastating. But I did have the opportunity to grow up with one of the best rock 'n' roll drummers in the world and it was truly a gift from God. I was blessed to have known him."
Toler is survived by his wife, Marsha; their daughter, Aja Kayle; and his brother, who played with Frankie in the Allman Brothers Band, the Gregg Allman Band and several other projects. Toler's health had been in decline for several years and had prevented him from recording and going on tour. But after receiving a liver transplant two years ago, he had been able to play at some band rehearsals.
His health worsened in recent weeks, though, and he arrived at the hospice on Wednesday. Marsha Toler remained by her husband's side the entire time. Dan and Chaz Trippy -- percussionist for the Gregg Allman Band, who played next to and roomed with Frankie from 1982 to '89 -- were also present when he passed.
Toler told friends and family he did not want a funeral. Instead, he requested a celebration.
"We're going to have a big, blast-off jam for him," Trippy said. "I'm not sure when it's going to be yet, but it will be a huge one and a good one. It will be hard to keep people from coming down to play for Frankie."
[Photo: Frankie and Dan in an undated pic. Handout]