I hear a bunch of you asking: Who’s Bobby Farrell? How can you not know! He was the strange, somewhat spastic dance accompanist to the three chicks who made up the meat and potatoes of awful Euro-disco supergroup Boney M. You know, Boney M: the guys who brought you “Ma Baker,” “Daddy Cool,” “Rivers Of Babylon,” and many, many more awful mega-global disco smash hits in the 1970s. (And by “global,” I guess I mean everywhere but the USA.)
We like to make fun of Mr. Farrell in the Hall—and to a certain degree, he deserved it. One of the original—pun intended—pop stars manufactured by the same guys who brought you Milli Vanilli, he kind of didn’t do anything besides jump around a lot and growl a few words into the microphone. And that’s what he did in live performance; in the studio, he did nothing at all.
Still, Bobby Farrell died on December 29, and that’s not a good thing. He amused us, and gave us all something to make fun of. Lots of people are worth less to me than Bobby Farrell was. He brought me joy.
Even in death, Bobby Farrell has given us one more thing to marvel at: the fact that he died somewhat mysteriously in St. Petersburg—the same town—and on the exact same date—as Grigori Rasputin, who Farrell used to “play” onstage during performances of Boney M’s smash 1978 hit of the same name! Eerie!
Anyhow, here’s looking at you, Mr. Farrell. The increasingly un-showman-like business of pop music will be a lesser place without you.