Whatever Happened To The Times

bobby-womackChameleonic R&B legend Bobby Womack has died aged 70. Womack grew up out of the Motown family band tradition, playing guitar with his brothers as The Valentinos. Incredibly versatile, he went from playing an ordinary right-handed guitar upside-down (as a left-handed ten-year-old), to songwriting for The Rolling Stones, to recording guitar for Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Sly Stone, and Dusty Springfield.

In an industry where you’re expected to burn out young or dissolve into a haze of Christmas albums and reunion tours, Womack had the dream retirement: complete, relevant musical reinvention. After 20 years out of the game, Womack was approached by Damon Albarn in 2009. “One day I just said to myself, if I’m still here, I got to be here for a purpose – and the purporse started with tying up with Gorillaz. We did this song Stylo in New York and immediately all the fear went out the way.”

In the wake of Gorillaz tours, Womack released the critically acclaimed The Bravest Man In The Universe, merging melancholic Womack soul with introspective Albarn beats. It’s an impressive testament to the ingenuity and personal strength of an artist whose legacy remains foundational to contemporary pop.