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Bob Guida, RIP - Riffs and Licks
Bob Guida, RIP

Bob Guida
Originally uploaded by kenf225
Bob Guida, the great blues guitarist and singer, a jovial and powerful presence in the Brooklyn music scene for decades, died last night. Shlomo Pestcoe posted the following announcement to the NY bluegrass and old-time list:
As some of you may have heard, Bob Guida passed away yesterday, Wednesday, March 11th. Bob had a heart attack as he was setting up his equipment to do a performance at a local library.

As per the Guida family's wishes, Bob's funeral and wake this weekend will be a small private familial function. Of course, there will be a larger memorial sometime in the near future. However, it's too early to discuss or organize such an event. Please understand that everyone is still very much in a state of shock and distraught over Bob's sudden passing.

Jim Garber and I are planning to set up a memorial site for Bob on Facebook asap. We'll let folks know when it's up.

All of our love and best wishes go out to Phylis Guida (Bob's widow) and the Guida family in their tragic loss.

Rest in peace, Bob. You are sorely missed by your many friends and loved ones.
"Bob loved performing and making people happy with his wonderful music and singing," Shlomo said in a Facebook posting. "It was Bob's fondest wish that when his time came, he would be able to take his leave of this world while on stage. And yesterday his wish was granted. He will be sorely missed."

Eli Smith interviewed Bob along with fellow Otis Brother Pat Conte last year. You can see video of the interview and follow a bunch of great links at the Down Home Radio site.


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From: (Anonymous) Date: March 13th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Bob Has Gone On

I first met Bob at the Fabulous Jalopy Theatre, back in March of 2007. He brought with him all his pals/bandmates from RetroFret (Peter, Mike and Steve) in the guise of Raoul Otis and the Blue Serenaders. And let me tell ya', they were superb. Bob was the hub, playing a gorgeous, vintage (of course) J-200. They played some Gospel stuff that night, along with some ancient Blues, and even an Elvis tune -- and a hypnotic song about the sinking of the Tittanic. But I'll never forget Bob snarling, "Pucker up buttercup," with all that soul, humour and passion that he freely expressed when in the moment (and he GOT into the moment). I chatted with Bob that night and over the next two years got to know him better... He even came to see a Sam Shepard play I did at the Jalopy, with his lovely wife Phyllis! The last time I saw Bob perform was with the amazing Pat Conte (as the Otis Brothers), again at Jalopy (one of Bob's favorite places, he would say...Geoff and Lynette loved him). The Otis Brothers were playing plugged-in that night. Bob on his porgeous Gretsch White Falcon and Pat with a Telecaster out of the '50s. They played late that night, and nobody wanted them to stop...EVER. I'm going to miss that beautiful smile of Bob's, and that hug hello and goodbye that I alway got from him. And his voice...and his music...his soulfullness... everything that was Bob...Happy Trails, Bob
Frank P.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 13th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Bob Guida's passing

Check out a really nice tribute to Bob at the-daily-growler@blogspot.com
I'm proud to say I was one of Bob's blues brothers in both music and soul--yes, it's hard for me to hold back bawling like a baby.

Michael Greene
steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: March 13th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Bob Guida's passing

Thanks for pointing me to that wonderful tribute. Here's the direct link.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 13th, 2009 11:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Bobby's last gig...

the gig on Wednesday 3/11/2009 was mine. Bob had done 3 of these library gigs with me in February; we had 4 lined up for March. I brought in Bob and our friend Guy on guitar, and we had a real good thing going. Bob was back on bass and of course singing. We passed the mic around, and man was I in some fast company! No drums for most of these, so it was quite a challenge for all of us. I posted Bob singing Going To Chicago on my myspace page; I think it's great! I love the way Bob crooned the blues! We go back over 30 years I guess. I brought Bob out on electric bass and right away everyone started calling him for gigs.

Eddie Lee Isaacs
steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: March 13th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Bobby's last gig...

Thank you, Eddie, for sharing that. Here's Eddie's page on Myspace. Bob's song is the third one on the list in the player.
Bobby's Blues... - (Anonymous) - Expand
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From: (Anonymous) Date: March 14th, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Bobby's Blues...

I meant to sign the above post with recollections of Bob...

a friend also asked to remind viewers that Bob loved playing with Larry Johnson, a post he held for awhile, and worked with Larry twice in recent years at Lincoln Center. That's our friend Hank Brandes, who played drums with Bob on numerous occasions in several settings, including with Larry Johnson and Bob. More to come...

Eddie Lee Isaacs
From: louisx Date: March 14th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Bob Guida

I just found this website after hearing the news. I recognize some people from the past here -- hello Eddie. I didn't know Bob well but I enjoyed every gig I did with him. It wasn't just the music, which was always heartfelt; the rides to the gigs were often the highlight of the evening. He was consistently a fun, interesting and unique guy to talk to. So even though I haven't seen him in a long time, I miss him already. The world needs more like him.
steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: March 14th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Bob Guida

Yes, it certainly does. I knew Bob through the Brooklyn bluegrass/old-time community. I run the web site for the Ponkiesburg Pickin' Party, one of the longer-running Brooklyn jams, and send out a newsletter every week about the local music scene. Bob and the Otis Brothers were featured more than once on the blog.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC) (Link)

bob and others

i should just add that (and i was his playing partner since 9th grade) that bob was equally proud of playing with eddie, guy, michael greene etc as any JB Hutto or Big Walter or Hubert, Rush, Butter or Brownie.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Bobby's blues; Tramps, circa '79- '80...

Around 1979, I was playing around the city and very much a part of the Dan Lynch scene. I was in with the harp players because I love blues and was trying to play it correctly, and trying to provide the backup for Chicago style blues, the blues of Little Walter, Muddy Waters, etc.

I put together this band called Daily Blues. I hated the name, but relented to my band mate on this. I got Hank Brandes on drums; I would say good enough to play with anyone. Marty Fink on harp was tops, up there with the best of ‘em. And of course Bobby Guida on bass and vocals, of course good enough to play with anyone. I was certainly not up to these guys. I was also pretty high on myself. But somehow or other we worked a fair amount.

We loved Tramps and would go to hear the great blues bands that passed through. One night we went to see Left Hand Frank, this great guitarist from Chicago, who definitely deserved far wider recognition. His backup band was local NYC guys, who are all very good musicians, but to me, didn’t work to well in support of Frank. Far too busy…

After months of begging, Terry at Tramps agreed to give us a Sunday night for the door, meaning no pay. But I was talking with this guy Bill who booked these guys and drove them in from Chicago. I told him my band could do a better job behind his artists.

So the next night he heard us, with Bob’s great bass playing, and told Terry he wanted us to back up Frank. A few weeks later he brought in Big Walter Horton.

We couldn’t believe it! It was great!

But a lot of people objected and were jealous. So it became tense. Some felt we weren’t good enough for the job. Well, someone snuck a little tape recorder in and to this day I have a few sets from that gig and we sounded real good. I knew how to stay out of the way and just push Walter as hard as I could. Hank and Bob pushed the rhythm support to the limit, with great time and taste…

But a few things went wrong on that gig. Some things were beyond my control and some within. I was sometimes at odds with my band mates, but- and I am not just saying this- never, ever with Bob. Bob did not ever have a problem with anyone. I will never forget this, but Bob would say to me “Ed, just tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it”. I did my best to drive Bob crazy too, always coming up with things with some unusual changes… that I didn’t even know myself! Anyway, Bill was gonna bring in Eddie Taylor for the next one. He wanted the band, without me.

Bob was along for the ride. He didn’t care much either way. Bob never pushed real hard for gigs. People always sought him out to play.

I heard that Eddie Taylor was very difficult to work with on those gigs, and the Bill thing kind of trickled out around then anyway. But Tramps got Bob in later with Otis Rush and Charles Brown.

Bob had this cool habit of taking songs that we did with these guys and incorporating them into his repertoire. From Frank he got Linda Lu and One Room Country Shack. From Walter, Bob took Everybody’s Fishin’ and Trouble In mind.

More to come, I promise!

Eddie Lee Isaacs
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 17th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)


hey eddie its so nice to here all these stories about my cousin bobby its bringing tears to my eyes reading all this and i cant believe i found you online like this my aunt jus called me and said there was a tribute to bobby online and i looked up a couple of things and found that some people some people that really cared for him put up these memorial pages and seriously from all of us the gudia family at the funeral home i thank you guys so much for talkin about my cousin bobby like your doin and how much i apprieciate it so much and your really touching my heart.. i was with bobby every single day and he used to tell me stories but my god i never knew it was in this much detail and i know the music was his life and so was bieng the best funeral director he could be and thats why i look up to him and thats why im living thru him now .. thanks again and eddie isaacs i hope that i never loose touch with you and i wish nothin but the best for you
- Eddie Guida Jr
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 17th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)


Hi, Cousin Eddie:

You might not remember me after all these years, but I can only hope you do, my name is Vinny Cortese, was at the funeral parlor countless times from 1979-85 or so, making music upstairs with Bob and Cousin Lou, eating pizza and Chinese food and having the time of our lives. All the best to you, Eddie. Like I wrote in a previous post, Bob was a true larger than life and inspirational spirit whose friendship and musical kinship made an impact and difference in my life. I could not travel from Las Vegas (where I live) for the services as my wife is disabled (paraplegic) and I could find no one to help me out with staying with her on such short notice. I asked Joe Bellulovich to send you and Cousin Lou my heartfelt condolences but would not blame him for forgetting to do so with all the shock everyone has had to endure. But I am happy to be able to do this directly now. I am so sorry for the profound loss of Cousin Bob. Long live the spirit of Bob Guida and the countless lives he touched.
Re: RIP BOB - (Anonymous) - Expand
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 18th, 2009 12:02 am (UTC) (Link)


vinny thanx so muxh yeah i was born in 1985 but my father is right next to me (eddie guida sr) and he remebers you very well and has tears in his eyes right now... its a shame we still cant get ovr boby bieng gone i cant believe this happened 30 years my father n bobby were closer than brothers not 1 fight bieng business partners and family at the funeral home today was like the 1st day him not bieng here and its very hard to coop going anywhere in the funeral home upstairs the chapels and especially the office all graced wit bobbys prescence and its just not the same and its hard with him not in our lifes its very hard i thankyou for writing back to us and i hope this doesnt end a friendship.. thanx again...
- Eddie Guida Jr
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 18th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)


Hi, Eddie Sr & Jr:

I am sorry I was slightly confused and I am sorry to have never met you, Eddie Jr.., but I am sure your father can vouch for the fact that I was always a little confused on my best days anyway. You have a great father. I will always remember your father Eddie Sr as a fun, warm, hilarious guy and when he, Bob and Cousin Lou were together, it was often times an amazing thing to behold. Joe Bellulovich thoughtfully called me today and told me about the funeral and it is obvious to see that Bob had a perfectly appropriate and regal send off. Please give your father a hug of support for me. Sometimes there really are no words.
Re: RIP BOBBY - (Anonymous) - Expand
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 13th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Bob's Passing

I knew Bob when he attended Marist College. He introduced me to blues, bootlegged records and a different way of listening to music. He was a warm gentle soul, bigger than life and scared to death of birds.
I once asked him why he was so afraid of birds, "They move to fast."

I regret after he left Marist we lost contact. As when I knew him college, he was truly loved. My condolences to his wife Phyllis and family
Bob Greene
A Friend
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 20th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)


I met Bob back in the mid 1980's though his dealings with Skip Henderson of City Lights Music. We heard of this guy's fabulous vintage guitar, bass and toy collection and just had to see it. A visit to his home was arranged and I still can see the twinkle in his eye when he proudly showed off all his neat old 50's space-age toys, played '78 RPM blues records for us on his Victrola and held up his pride and joy, Fender Bass serial number 009. He would always refer to it as "No. 9". I hope he and it are in a good place. I saw him man y times after that at vintage guitar shows. Bob always had nothing but nice things to say about anyone, anything, he was truly a nice guy, may he rest in peace....Jeff Taylor, NJ
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 16th, 2011 11:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Molto buon posto.
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