The Street Parade was very sad to learn of the passing of guitar great, and NRBQ co-founder, Steve Ferguson who died at age 60 due to cancer on Oct. 7. Steve Ferguson formed NRBQ in 1967 with keyboardist Terry Adams, , singer Frank Gadler, drummer Tom Staley, and bassist Joey Spampinato. It’s true that Ferguson only played with the band for a few years, but his influence on the band’s direction as a whole and particularly on his successor Big Al Anderson were vast. When they hired Anderson, the primary qualification was for the new guitar player to be able to even come close to playing Steve’s intro to “Flat Foot Flewzy.” Ferguson said he had the right hand of a country player and the left hand of a blues player. Throw in a touch of Sun Ra to the mix and you’ve got the heart of one of the best live bands ever. Ferguson and Anderson played together on the 1972 album “Scraps”–one of the all-time greats. The original album and the collaboration with Carl Perkins are also amazing. Finally, as listening tribute, I’m going to suggest his recent reunion with Terry Adams, “Louisville Sluggers.” Good fun and goofy R&B to the core.
On another related note, any NRBQ fan will also be saddened by the loss of “Captain Lou” Albano on Oct. 14. Yea, yea, yea, forget the Cyndi Lauper connection, it’s all about the Q. As Lou screams at the end of “Captain Lou”:
They’re talking about me!
Captain Lou Albano!
Maker of champions, baby!
Twelve tag-team champions!
I take them, I mold them,
I think it’s charisma, it’s pandemonium!
It’s psychedelic pandemonium!
Ah ha ha ha ha ha! I, am “the Guiding Light,” ha ha!