|In Loving Memory
of a very dear friend
| Noted Blues musician Rock Bottom dies:
Manatee - When John Lee Hooker died in June, local blues artist Rock Bottom reflected on the legendary guitarist's passing.
"There's never going to be another John Lee Hooker," said Bottom, aka David York. "I can't carry the torch for John Lee, but his music will never die, because we can listen to the records."
"Likewise, and I don't mean to sound pompous, there will never be another Rock Bottom. There can't be another me. That's the point of human existence." - Bradenton Herald
ST. PETERSBURG TIMES
St. Petersburg - Rock Bottom, a revered blues harmonica player who returned this week from a tour in Europe, has died at 53.
Perhaps the best unsung blues harp player in the Southeast, he died Friday at home in his sleep. His last gig was Thursday night at Mojo's in Palm Harbor.
At Mojo's, he jammed with a band that included notable area blues musicians including harmonica player Kim Harpo and guitartist Tom "Tomcat" Blake.
Musicians at the show said he seemed in good spirits and good health, playing slide guitar for several tunes and joking with friends in the audience.
Born David Clark York, the musician had triple bypass heart surgery 10 years ago. Before heading to Palm Harbor to perform, he had his annual stress test and passed it, said his sister-in-law, Nancy Book Binder.
However, she said, the cause of his death was a heart attack. He had returned Monday from a three-week tour in Europe, playing and singing in the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland, she said. Paul Shambarger, a St. Petersburg friend known in music circles as Dr. Blues, said the musician had been feeling fine since the tour.
A world-class exponent of American blues and roots music, Rock Bottom, sometimes called Woodlawn Fats, regularly toured Europe since 1981 with the Silver King Band, featuring lontime musical collaborators St. Petey Twigg on piano and washboard player Flo Mingo; with his group, the Cutaways; and as a solo act.
He had "a talent for harmonica that equals the Musselwhites, Piazzas and Clarkes," a reviewer for England's Blues & Rhythm magazine wrote. Blueprint magazine called him "a very compelling and entertaining musician who can lead, arrange, sing and play harp like no one else."
Over the years he played high-profile gigs including the Tampa Bay Blues Festival, the W.C. Handy Blues Awards in Memphis and the Merle Watson Festival in North Carolina. At his peak , he logged 250 dates a year and played on recordings by Roy Book Binder, Lucky Peterson, Ronnie Earl and Tampa roots-rocker Ronny Elliott.
His recordings include Shake Your Boogie Leg on New Moon Records last year and self-released projects including 1997's Tone.
He produced discs by Sandy Atkinson and Tomcat Blake, and he wrote and performed an all-harp score for the Sam Shepard play A Lie of the Mind. He appeared iwth his band on ABC's series Second Noah and in the independent film The Worm Killers.
Mr. York was born in Brookville, Ind., and moved to St. Petersburg in 1981 from Sarasota. He did charity work for mentally handicapped children and for the Children's Haven.
Survivors include his wife of seven years, Maureen; a sister, Sylvia Jordan, Largo; and several nieces and nephews, including Stephen Clark Jordan, Largo.
|May 5, 1948 - September 28, 2001|