Nanaimo musician David Gogo will perform in a charity concert in honour of fallen Mountie Sarah Beckett on May 20. Photo contributed.

David Gogo: A life spent living and learning the blues

Nanaimo musician to play benefit in memory of fallen West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett

They say you must pay your dues before you can truly play the blues.

That commitment took Nanaimo native David Gogo to a crossroads when he opened for Albert Collins in Victoria in the early 1980s. Shortly after Collins invited him on stage to play with him, Gogo, 20 at the time, headed off to Texas to soak up the blues in one of its cradles.

“I went to see Albert play at Antone’s in Austin,” Gogo recalled. “He brought me on stage again and asked me what I was up to after the show. He said jump on the bus and come with me and I wound up playing a bunch of gigs with him in places like Kansas City, Madison, Wisconsin and Chicago. It’s still crazy to think about that after all these years. Albert was really special, and I miss him a lot.”

Whether opening for, playing with or just hanging out with legends like B.B. King, Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gogo has never forgotten how they always went out of their way to spend time with him.

“I look back now and so many of them are gone,” Gogo said with sadness. “Stevie was so young, others were older. I try to keep what they did for me in mind and make time for younger players whenever I can, passing the torch.”

Thirty years into a career that has spanned 14 albums and Juno Award nominations, Gogo reflected on the challenges of balancing a career with the responsibilities of fatherhood.

“I’ve been a single father for the past 10 years and spent a lot of time on the road,” he said. “I’ve been very fortunate that my sisters and my parents were always there for support when I was away.”

It’s easier now that his son, Lincoln, is 18, Gogo admitted.

“He’s pretty independent,” he said. “I like to joke that I always hoped he would be a musician but he took up the drums instead. He’s started to learn guitar so he can write songs now, and that’s very cool.”

Fresh off a recent Maple Blues Award as guitarist of the year, Gogo is working on his next album.

“The last one, Vicksburg Call, is my favourite so far,” he said. “It’s always exciting to get back to writing and work on new stuff. We’re at the stage where we’re figuring out what we’ll do, whether we want to push the envelope. Blues is a life experience, there’s always room to grow.”

Buoyed by hearing that Vicksburg Call is getting air time on local commercial rock stations as well as those devoted to blues, Gogo is looking forward to an upcoming gig at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre in Oak Bay.

“We’ve always enjoyed playing in Victoria, and I’ve heard it’s a beautiful new facility,” he added.

The fact the concert aims to raise money to start a scholarship in memory of West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett made signing on an easy decision for Gogo. Beckett, a Sooke resident, was killed while on duty in a motor vehicle crash.

“We all heard the news and were shocked and saddened by Sarah’s loss,” he said. “Whether it’s police or fire, first responders put their lives on the line every day. When I was first approached, I wanted to help out right away.”

Tickets for David Gogo at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre on May 20 are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

Tickets and details are available at Langford City Hall, Langford Fire Rescue, Shoppers Drug Mart in Sooke, Russell Books, BiteZ Sandwich Shop, and Ivy’s Book Store.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Victoria City Council approves inclusionary housing policy

After years of back and forth, the policy will be ratified in two weeks

Filipino Heritage Month event takes over Centennial Square

Dancing, music and food highlight Mabuhay Day celebration in Victoria

West Shore residents report finding anti-SOGI 123 flyers in mailboxes

SD62 trustee Ravi Parmar says the flyers are ‘garbage’

Saanich woman runs marathons to make dreams come true

Hempler gutted her way through 122 kms with minimal breaks, to support Help Fill a Dream Foundation

Tsartlip canoe team pulls for international glory in Australia

Geronimo Canoe Club paddles to Victoria to kick-start fundraising

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Most Read