Berkley Ike Jones of the popular Afro-Rock band, BLO has died few weeks to his 72nd birthday.
The talented guitarist who first appeared on the Nigerian music scene in the 1960s died while on business in Asaba on June 28.
Jones began his music career as a drummer with Port Harcourt-based teen pop group- ‘The Figures’ and by 1970, he got signed as the lead guitarist in the rock n’ soul band, ‘The Funkees’.
His talents got him noticed and he made the journey to Lagos where he began a career with a rock group, The Clusters.
The Clusters soon morphed into the Afro Collection under the leadership of Tee Mac Iseli, and then into SALT under Ginger Baker. Eventually the group splintered, giving birth to Nigeria’s first afro-rock power trio BLO–Berkley Ike Jones, Laolu Akins, and Mike Gbenga Odumosu.
BLO gained widespread popularity in the 70s and 80s and became one of Nigeria’s most respected and influential rock groups. They recorded some afro-rock songs such as Preacher Man and Native doctor.
In the early 80s, Jones quit the music business to become one of Nigeria’s leading interior designers and architects.