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Shuggie Otis: the lost R&B star who came in from the wilderness

The son of an R&B legend, guitar virtuoso Shuggie Otis followed in the footsteps of his old man Johnny Otis and did it his way. “There were depressing times,” he says. “But there were good tim

If ever there was a musician who went his own way, it’s Shuggie Otis. In 1974, he turned down an offer to replace Mick Taylor in The Rolling Stones. He said no to working with David Bowie, Spirit, Buddy Miles and Blood, Sweat And Tears, and told Quincy Jones he didn’t need a producer, he could do it all himself. “I never had a problem with fame,” the 62-year-old singer-guitarist says. “Put my face on a billboard, make me a star, I don’t mind that, but only if it’s for my music. I’m nobody’s sideman, I’m my own man. I’m Shuggie Otis.”


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