Saturday, December 14, 2013

Long John Baldry

Don't Try to Lay No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock 'n' Roll …

Lot of Americans might not know who Baldry was, but if you know who Clapton, The Rolling Stones,  and Rod Stewart are, you may have heard of him. One of the original white British bluesman, Baldry was the hot ticket in the early sixties, before the Beatles blew everybody else out of the water.

He knew everybody, everybody knew him, and if you ask Mick Jagger or Rod Stewart or Paul McCartney or Eric Clapton about the guy, they will all say he influenced them. At one point or another, most of them opened for, or actually worked in a band with, him.

Called Long John because he was 6' 7" tall, he was a seminal influence in the British blues/rock scene of the sixties. A lot of those he mentored moved past him, but he was considered to be among the best by his peers.

He was also a voice actor, and most notable among his creations is probably Dr. Robotnik, from Sonic the Hedgehog; he did dozens of TV animated shows, including one of the Conan incarnations.

Baldry eventually moved to Canada, and spent his last few years doing gigs there, and in the Pacific Northwest. He died from complications of a lung infection in 2005.