DARONDO (October 5, 1946 – June 9, 2013)
In 2013, we lost Darondo, the Bay Area’s Godfather of Soul. William Pullman — the Darondo that I was lucky to know — was a gracious and kind soul. Driving Interstate 80 with Darondo passenger side, or waiting backstage for showtime, I’d hear him spin webs of local lore, ancient street hip, down-home wit and useful everyday knowledge. He held the keys to a very rare world — a world of mysticism, mischief and stone cold soul.
Of course, Darondo was a fantastic performer, an almost mythic character, a trickster who could walk the line between sensuality and mysticism in a single line. He had untouchable phrasing and endless wit. On the mic, he’d improvise verses and paint pictures that were sensual, humorous, humane and holy. But what inspired me most about Darondo is the way he could light up a room and make everyone feel happy. He always had a good word for people, be they young, old, hip or square. He made you feel lucky to be there.
Like all the greats, Darondo made it look easy. His music will continue to be found, shared and cherished. You can’t replace the genuine soul that Darondo brought to our lives — you can only be grateful that you had a chance to see it and hear it. Rest in Soulful Peace, Darondo.