Posted on 10.12.2018

Friends - Soapbox Rewind

*NOTE* Charlie will be back on Monday with a brand new soapbox, in the meantime here is an appropriate soapbox for today as it is the 7th anniversary of the passing of William Joel "Taz" DiGregorio, Charlie's friend and longtime keyboard player for the CDB. RIP, Taz. - TeamCDB/TeamBW

This is the hardest soapbox I've ever written.

This morning about 4:15 am I got the news that I had lost one of my oldest and dearest friends, Taz DiGregorio. He was killed in a one-car accident on I-40, East of Nashville when he was driving to catch our tour bus to go on the road.

As I write this, I am still somewhat in shock and have not fully accepted that there will be an empty spot on stage right where Taz's keyboards sat for over forty years.

I honestly don't know what it's going to feel like when I walk back on stage for the first time without him, but one thing I do know, the music will go on, but it will never be quite the same.

Taz's wailing organ and rowdy piano were a mainstay in The CDB style since our very first records in the early 70's.

His tender piano intro to "Carolina I Remember You", his jazzy organ solo on "Birmingham Blues" and the signature riff he wrote for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" were as much a part of The CDB sound as the songs themselves.

I traveled a good part of the world with Taz. We've been broke down on the roadsides of America, stranded by an air traffic controller's strike in Paris, stood together at the Berlin Wall and the 38th Parallel, walked the streets of Hong Kong, London, Amsterdam, Dublin, Juarez, Sydney, and a thousand little towns you've probably never even heard of.

We've stormed the Big Apple, the Big Easy, the Rockies, the Smokies, Clamtown, Beantown, the Midlands and the Maritimes and lit up the Daddy of 'Em All in Cheyenne Wyoming.

We've been in jail in Louisiana, rained on in Raleigh, shot at in Baghdad and left behind a trail that stretches millions of miles, thousands of shows and zillions of memories.

Taz was there through some of the toughest stretches of my life, when my dad died suddenly, through my battles with cancer and stroke and during the years it took me to pay off massive debts from a bad business arrangement.

Conversely, he shared some of the highest moments of my life, when my son was born, when we had our first gold record, when I was inducted into the Musician's Hall of Fame and when I became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

At this early stage of the game, it's hard for me to think about what the future will be like without Taz in it, but I know one thing…

There is an empty place in my life today that nobody else will ever fill.

I will miss you my friend.

Love never dies.

William Joel DiGregorio
Born January 8, 1944
Southbridge, Massachusetts

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, and for our country.

God Bless America

— Charlie Daniels


Feel free to comment on Charlie's soapboxes, but please refrain from profanity and anonymous posts are not allowed, we need a name and you MUST provide a valid email address. If you provide an email address, but leave the name as "Anonymous" we will pick a name for you based on your email address. No one other than website administrators will see your email address, not other posters. If you post without a valid email address, your comment (whether positive or negative) will be deleted. — TeamCDB


Even Jesus wept
Charlie, You are sincerely in our thoughts and prayers. Patricia
Posted by Patricia
The CDB played at Marietta College in 1975 ? ( or one of those years) with Marshall Tucker! Our small gymnasium! Totally awesome! Still love southern rock to this day! Keep on playing! Also love your tweets
Posted by Paul
Amen, Amen & Amen Charlie you can pay no better Tribute to a man than what you have said over the years about Taz, a special man that took his God given talent and blessed millions, nuff said God Bless Plowboy
Posted by Plowboy
Our condolences on the loss of your friend, Charlie.
Posted by Richard
Lost friends
Hate to hear that...yes sir..I understand in.losing friends to accidents.. Lost my best friend when I was 17 in a car wreck..lost another at 23.. And making friends always been hard for me...for I am bluntly a fault.. For I have a high alert alarm built in that hardly let's anyone in.. I have tried over the years to be a friend that I would want..but with peoples jealously etc..I have found they always want which I would give the shirt off of my back.. But 9x out of 10 it was always fareweather friends.. And after having a marriage that truly soured me...and my beliefs in my higher power of doing right.. I have found myself in solidarity....safer that dont expect anything and you are not a target of others.. Out of all this I found I am at peace with the good lord and I suppose that is all the matters... And when they lay me to rest...I will then be on the celestial shores..where there is no more pain of losing people that were truly dead to you...
Posted by Robert