Morris “B.B.” Dickerson, who had been the bass player of the funk band War, has passed at the age of 71. According to Billboard, the bassist passed peacefully at a hospital in Long Beach, California on Friday, April 2, following a long battle against an undisclosed illness.
Dickerson had been an original member of war, working as a bassist, vocalist and co-writer. He had been the vocalist for the band’s track “The World Is a Ghetto,” which had appeared on their debut album, and his bass line had led their song “Low Rider.”
He had performed on stage alongside Jimi Hendrix for what would be the legendary guitarist’s final public performance in 1970. The show took place in London, Hendrix taking to the stage to play with War shortly before his death. Dickerson stayed with War until 1979, however he returned to his bandmates in the ‘90s to perform as the Lowrider Band.
Dickerson first began playing bass at the age of 12, the artist going on to performing in a group titled The Creators alongside his uncle, Howard E. Scott, back in the 1960s. The Vietnam War caused the end of The Creators, with his uncle forming a band called The Nightshift. Dickerson joined The Nightshift, which shifted into the beginning of War as Eric Burdon joined the band.
With War, Dickerson recorded 12 albums, including Eric Burdon Declares War, The Black-Man’s Burdon and The World Is A Ghetto. Dickerson has been survived by his mother, uncle and children, while donations in his name can be made to MusiCares.