Remembering Atlanta Jam Band Legend, Col. Bruce Hampton
During the encore of his four-hour set in honor the singer's 70th birthday at the Fox Theatre, Col. Bruce Hampton (Gustav Berglund III), collapsed on stage in the middle of "Turn On Your Lovelight." Know for his sense of humor, many onlookers thought at first it was a ruse and he laid there for several minutes before being rushed to a nearby hospital. Around 3 A.M in the wee hours of May 2, fellow musicians Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, shared on Facebook an update from Hampton's family, confirming the singer had died at Emory University Hospital Midtown. No information on the cause of death has been announced at this time.
An active and beloved face in Georgia music scene, Col. Bruce Hampton was a founding member of the late 60's avant-garde jam band, Hampton Grease Band, touring with the likes of the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers. He also was a cofounding member of the jazz-rock duo Fiji Mariners and collaborated with some of the biggest names in the jam band scene. From prog rock legends like Frank Zappa to the modern psychedelic scene with Georgia's own Widespread Panic. He was presented the Governor's Award in The Arts and Humanities by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal in 2012.
The passing away of someone so beloved and prolific in the Georgia music scene is never easy. It should be stated that while Georgia lost a great musician, Hampton's family and friends lost a great person. But if death is inevitable and if you can ever get the final say in when and where you die, you can do far worse than being surrounded by those who love you while doing what you love. Rock on forever, Bruce.