Monday, August 25th, 2014

By Danny Coleman

“He was a close friend, a devoted worker, and a lover of life. We traveled around the world together and shared many experiences – mostly while laughing. He will be missed by a huge circle of friends and family.”

                                                                                                                                                       – Warren Haynes

A quote taken from Warren Haynes‘ Facebook page today as he reflected upon the passing of long time guitar tech and friend Brian Farmer.

Farmer worked as Haynes’ guitar tech for both Gov’t Mule and the Allman Brothers Band. Ironically and maybe even odd Farmer passed 14 years minus two days as Gov’t Mule bassist Allen Woody (August 26th, 2000), the one who recommended Farmer for the job with Haynes. Other artists include members of the Grateful Dead and country/folk music legend Johnny Cash.

Farmer (who bore an uncanny resemblance to Haynes even sharing the same birthday) could always be found standing just off stage, always waiting, always attentive and ready to assist any guitarist or band member who may need it. A hulking man whose look could be intimidating, Farmer had a fun side; at times using his looks to tease audiences. The December 2013 show at The Tower Theater in Philadelphia drew a slight smile from Farmer as he walked upon the stage prior to a Gov’t Mule set to scattered applause as those seated further back in the old dark venue mistook him for Haynes; something he’d grown accustomed to.

Rock music has its cast of supporting characters, roadies, techs, stage hands and groupies; most fly under the radar but not Farmer. Anyone who attended a Gov’t. Mule or Allman Brothers Band show knew the “big guy” who always stood at the ready, who was always “in tune” with his work and if one were fortunate enough to run into him outside of the concert venue, he would gladly chat and appreciate the recognition.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band expressed their view on the passing of Farmer with a poignant Facebook page post as well; a post which summed up not only Farmer himself but those who toil relentlessly behind the scenes of every concert venue long after the room goes silent and the crowd goes home.

Simply, yet quite eloquently put, it read:

“To our dear friend Brian Farmer, long time guitar tech for Gov’t Mule and the Allman Brothers Band, gone far too soon: thank you for your friendship, decency and hard work, and we’ll miss you deeply. Dedicated professionals like Farmer are the backbone of all live music; without their hard work, we’d be lost. It’s easy for fans to overlook just how much behind-the-scenes effort goes into every single performance. It’s back-breaking labor all day & night, and it often means spending months at a time away from family and the comforts of home. That’s why any musician worth a damn knows how indebted they are to people like Farmer, and we sincerely hope fans can understand and appreciate their efforts too. So if you get a chance, say a quick thanks to the guy pushing cases or rigging lights or tuning the PA. It goes a long way.

Please join us in saying thanks, Farmer, and we’ll see you down the road again someday.”

                                                                                                                             –  Tedeschi Trucks Band

The Allman Brothers Band also posted a brief official statement that included multiple acknowledgments recognizing Farmers for the man he was at the core.

“The Allman Brothers Band family has just learned of the untimely death of devoted guitar technician Brian Farmer.

Brian joined our family in 2001 with returning musician Warren Haynes for whom he worked with on Gov’t Mule for a number of years.

Brian was a jovial, sardonic man whose talent with musical instruments and the related equipment was extraordinary.

His devotion to his profession and the musicians around him was unparalleled.

He was a devoted father and family man.

He was a fan favorite.

He will be sorely missed by all who knew him as he has left us all too soon.”

At the time of this publishing, a cause of death had not been released. An official statement from Gov’t Mule is said to be forthcoming.

Brian FarmerHere’s to you Brian Farmer, we thank you and salute you!





Photo Courtesy of Derek McCabe ©2014

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