*Whoa, I didn’t even know this man, but my god, what a way to go. I suppose playing a gig in your honor isn’t the worst scenario to leave this earth, but its certainly one your band mates and fans will never, ever be able to forget.
Not to mention your family.
Col. Bruce Hampton is an eccentric guitarist and singer known as the forefather of the jam band scene. He was actually performing at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre a day after his birthday for “Hampton 70: A Celebration of Col. Bruce Hampton.”
All of a sudden as he was playing, and he went down on one knee first, says a band member.
“As I played tonight, I had a joy that I’ve never had … But it was eerie,” banjo player the Rev. Jeff Mosier said in a tearful Facebook post. “And then at the end, Bruce looked like he was jokingly worshipping that young guitar player. And he got down on his knees and I was getting ready to do the same thing. … I was lucky to know him and I was lucky to be there.”
Reports say everyone, even the audience, kept the vibe going; thinking Hampton was being his usual wacky self. Even the young guitar player added a little zest to his playing, as Hampton continued to lay motionless.
According to the Associated Press…
When people began to realize this was no stunt, the band abruptly ended the song and a hush fell over the crowd. Stunned fans looked at one another and asked, “What just happened?”
“We’re going to take care of business backstage here,” Thornton said. “Thank you so much. We love you so much. Thanks for honoring Bruce Hampton on his 70th.”
Hampton’s death was confirmed to the AP by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office. Hampton had showed no signs of distress as he played onstage prior to his collapse.
Ironically, and this is so prophetic in hindsight, Hampton had just performed the song, “Fixin’ to Die,” which he had performed many times before. Check out the lyrics.
Feeling funny in my mind, Lord
I believe I’m fixing to die
Well, I don’t mind dying
But I hate to leave my children crying
Rest in peace, Bruce. Our best to your family and fans.