Photo via Dickey Betts’ homepage

Dickey Betts has posted a brief statement following the passing of his longtime bandmate Gregg Allman. Betts co-founded the Allman Brothers Band in 1969 and served as the band’s de facto leader after the 1971 passing of Duane Allman. He remained one of the Allman Brothers Band’s primary creative forces throughout all their stylistic phases and reunions until parting ways with the band in 2000.

“It’s too soon to properly process this,” Betts said on a statement posted on his band Great Southern’s Facebook page. “I’m so glad I was able to have a couple good talks with him before he passed. In fact I was about to call him to check and see how he was when I got the call. It’s a very sad thing. I, along with the entire Great Southern family, pass along my deepest sympathies to Gregg’s family, friends, and fans.”

Allman and Betts also co-headlined a tour with their solo bands in 1986. In recent years, Allman had started nodding to Betts before playing “Southbound” with his solo band. Many fans hoped Betts and Allman would perform together one final time, but they, unfortunately, never reunited onstage.