#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 lotto winner plans Disney trip and aims to be ‘responsible’ with winnings

Local dad Simon McNeil bought ticket at grocery store in North Delta

Surrey Councillor Laurie Guerra resigns as AutismBC director amid SOGI controversy

AutismBC president Gary Robins says her resignation is effective Nov. 12

‘Iron Road West’ launches this Friday from Cloverdale rail station

Illustrative history on B.C. railways is White Rock author Derek Hayes’ 18th book

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Surrey Mounties investigate drive-by shooting in Fleetwood

It happened Monday afternoon in the 8000-block of 153A Street. Police say no victim has been located.

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

B.C. cheese linked to 5 E. Coli cases

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Hockey legends come to B.C.

Greats including Bossy, Dionne, Hawerchuk, Howe, Lafleur and Parent at Langley Events Centre

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

B.C. university Pride group replaces white supremacy posters

Around 50 people walked through downtown Victoria to share posters of love

B.C. to invest $492 million in affordable homes

72 new projects are part of a 10-year, $1.9-billion strategy

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Pit bull cross, chihuahua owners must split costs for dogfight damage, judge rules

Eac side responsible for $577.43 towards injuries in Comox Valley incident

Most Read