N E W Y O R K, Aug. 28, 2000 -- Douglas Allen Woody, a former bassist for the Allman Brothers Band, was found dead in a Queens hotel over the weekend.
Known as just Allen Woody, the musician’s body was found Saturday morning by a chambermaid at the Marriott Courtyard, police said. There were no visible signs of trauma, and the cause of death was unknown, police said.
An autopsy performed Sunday was inconclusive.
Woody, 44, was also a member of Gov’t Mule and Blue Floyd.
Message From the Band
“We were very saddened to learn yesterday morning that Allen Woody unexpectedly passed away sometime Friday evening or early Saturday morning,” read a message on Mule.net, the official Gov’t Mule Web site. “It is our understanding that Allen had an early morning flight scheduled from New York to his home in Tennessee. At the present time, that is all the information that we have.”
The band asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to an educational fund for Woody’s 3-year-old daughter, Savannah, and promised to forward messages to the musician’s family. Woody is also survived by his wife, Jenny, and father, Doug.
“The hearts and prayers of the Allman Brothers Band, their management and extended family are with them and with Allen as his journey continues,” read a message on the Allman Brothers Band Web site.
The message boards at the Blue Floyd Web site, currently the only link accessible from the menu page, were overflowing with expressions of sympathy.
“I always looked up to him and I know that he was proud of me as I am of him. I was like his little bass playing brother,” said Blue Floyd member Berry Oakley Jr., son of the late Berry Oakley — one of the founders of the Allman Brothers.
Blue Floyd, a band consisting partly of rock stars’ musician sons, performs blues interpretations of Pink Floyd songs.
Woody grew up in Nashville, Tenn., listening to the blues, country and rock oldies. He took up the bass at age 14 after seeing Paul McCartney play with the Beatles. Soon after, he heard the Allman Brothers Band on the radio and became interested in exploratory Southern rock.
He majored in music at Middle Tennessee State University and sold instruments in a Nashville guitar store, where he met many of the city’s top musicians. One of those musicians, Artimus Pyle, a former drummer for Lynyrd Skynyrd, introduced him to members of the Allman Brothers Band.
Woody joined the Allmans as a bassist in 1989, in one of the ’70s supergroup’s later incarnations.
He left with slide guitarist Warren Haynes in 1997. They and drummer Matt Abts, who was also in Blue Floyd, formed a new group, Gov’t Mule, which released several albums. Gov’t Mule was scheduled to begin a tour Sept. 2.
ABCNEWS.com’s Edward Mazza and The Associated Press contributed to this report.