Blues rock pioneer, guitarist Bobby Parker famous for his 1961 track Watch Your Step has passed away at the age of 76. He is credited as “the only musician the Beatles admitted to stealing from”.
Bassist Anthony B Rucker confirmed Bobby’s death, saying – “It is with a heavy heart I thank you, Bobby, for all that you have done for me. I’m so glad I had one last chance to play with you a couple of weeks ago. See ya on the other side.”
‘Watch Your Step‘, which can be streamed below, inspired the Beatles’ song ‘I Feel Fine’, with John Lennon once saying they’d used the riff “in various forms” throughout their career. Led Zeppelin also made use of this famous riff in ‘Moby Dick’. The track was also covered by Carlos Santana, who once said – “Bobby inspired me to play guitar – he’s one of the few remaining guitarists who can pierce your heart and soothe your soul.”
In an interview in 2008 Parker said – “Watch Your Step was a culmination of blues rock guitar that nobody else had ever thought of. Mine was First. The United States was engulfed by Motown, but the whole world knew when I recorded Watch Your Step that I broke the brick wall of the sameness of Motown.
“I sent music in another direction worldwide, especially for guitarists like Jimmy Page, Santana, Eric Clapton and millions of others. Everybody who was anybody knew Bobby Parker alone penned the lick that created what’s known as the British revolution.
“I heard 600 or more blatant copycat recordings – everybody was playing my lick and trying to claim it, the Beatles included. Even now I hear copycat riffs in TV commercials.” He laughed: “I wish they’d come up with a different riff and leave mine alone…”
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