Morris ‘B.B.’ Dickerson, the co-founder and bassist of War, has passed away at home aged 71 after battling a long and undisclosed illness.
Dickinson started his musical journey back in the late 1960s. The bassist and future War members were working together as the backing band for football player Deacon Jones. They became a band in their own right after record producer Jerry Goldstein saw them in concert and then brought them together with former Animals singer Eric Burdon.
The group later released their debut album in 1970, titled Eric Burdon Declares “War”. The debut attempt peaked at 18 on the U.S. albums chart, and they even had a hit in the singles chart with ‘Spill the Wine’, which charted at number three. War were prolific and churned out twelve records before Dickerson left the group in 1979.
When they weren’t on stage, War would still be on tour. Their most famous show was when Jimi Hendrix joined them on stage at Ronnie Scott’s in London in 1970, just a day before his death.
Burdon would depart the group in 1971 before coming back into the fold in 1976 for a short-lived stint before leaving the following year again. However, following Burdon’s departure, War continued to go from strength to strength and their 1972 magnum opus, The World Is A Ghetto. The album was their only chart-topping release throughout the career and is remembered as one of the great funk records.
After leaving the group in 1979, Dickinson continued to work in music and eventually reunited with former War bandmates in the Lowrider Band. Although they only ever toured and never recorded any material.