#ThrowbackThursday: That time Bo Diddley rocked to a local band’s backing beat

Death of rock 'n' roll icon in 2008 struck chord with Blue Voodoo

Rock 'n' roll icon Bo Diddley (left) relaxes backstage with White Rock-based keyboardist Bryon Tosoff after their performance together — one of Diddley's final concerts — in Mission in 2007.

The death of rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Bo Diddley in June of 2008 struck a chord close to home.

Members of local band The Blue Voodoo formed the musical backbone for Diddley during one of his last ever performances, in March 2007 at Mission’s Clarke Theatre.

Two months later, Diddley suffered a stroke during a concert in Iowa. He later had a heart attack that ultimately led to his death of heart failure at his home in Archer, Florida. He was 79.

For the gig in Mission, White Rock-based concert promoter Rob Warwick, who runs Rock.It Boy Entertainment, hired members of the Blue Voodoo — Rick Dalgarno on guitar, Ted Tosoff on bass and their part-time bandmate Bryon Tosoff on keyboards — to back Diddley with the help of his touring drummer.

It was an unexpected but welcome opportunity for the local musicians.

We actually went and bought his greatest-hits CD (in the days) prior to the show,” Bryon Tosoff recalled at the time, “(and) we learned his most familiar songs.

(We) worked with Sandy Gennaro, Bo’s drummer, for about 45 minutes learning the format of what would happen during the show and what to expect. Basically it was a crash-course in Bo’s show. We did not do any practice with Bo at all.

The band opened the show playing the familiar riff of “Bo Diddley” — the song that became his trademark in the 1950s — for a couple of minutes before the star walked on stage.

(SCROLL DOWN TO SEE VIDEO OF DIDDLEY PERFORMING THE SONG FOR ‘LEGENDS OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL DVD)

The crowd went wild and it made your hair stand up on end,” Tosoff said at the time. “It was a magical time for them and all of us indeed.

After the gig, the band members, along with Warwick, local guitar ace Jason Buie and others, enjoyed time talking with Diddley backstage and posing for photos.

The man was very relaxed and easy to talk to,” Tosoff said at the time, “just a man who knew how to connect with people with no airs whatsoever.

On stage, Diddley sat on a chair while playing guitar and singing. Backstage and around town, a lack of mobility forced him to use a wheelchair that Warwick had rented for him.

It was pretty cool to work with a legend like that,” Warwick said in 2008.

It was a phenomenal show.

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP investigating after ‘sudden death’ of man found with critical injuries

Police say a man is dead after being found laying on the ground in the 13300-block of 114th Avenue

Kids Boost Immunity honours Surrey school for vaccine donations

Elementary students donate more than 3,000 vaccinations to UNICEF

Teen charged with possession of a loaded firearm after incident at Whalley park

Surrey RCMP say 17-year-old boy allegedly found in possession of loaded handgun

Pug life: Waggish dog names listed in White Rock

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered with the city

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Loud jets from Abbotsford are annoying residents of tiny U.S. town

Flights out of Abbotsford airport turn over border town and annoy residents, Sumas mayor says

Olympic auditions return to Lower Mainland

Event an opportunity for unknown athletes to shine and, maybe, change sports

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C. pedophile wins appeal after violating court order

Kelly Glen Isbister’s sentence was cut by the BC Court of Appeal

Most Read