Ron Thompson is a legendary rhythm and blues guitarist and master keyboardist whose career began in the rough and tumble world of East San Francisco Bay nightclubs and bars in the early ‘70s. During many years of touring coast to coast with John Lee Hooker, Hooker was quoted as saying, "Ron Thompson, he's my main man!" Not many living blues musicians can say they have performed with and recorded for legends like Big Mama Thornton, Tina Turner, Bruce Willis, Luther Tucker, Jimmy McCracklin, Pee Wee Crayton, Carla Thomas, Booker T. Jones, Percy Mayfield, Etta James, B.B. King, and Jimmy Reed. Ron Thompson can, and that’s just the beginning!
After serving as John Lee Hooker’s bandleader for seven years, Thompson went on to form his own group, Ron Thompson and His Resisters, which continues to tour extensively in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Central America. In the early 80’s, Ron met Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac) and the two became musical partners and close friends. Ron and Mick formed the band, Mick Fleetwood’s Blue Whale. Blue Whale still occasionally performs, when Ron and Mick's busy schedules permit.
Ron Thompson was honored by the City of San Francisco for his decades of musical contributions. A few days after Barry Bonds got "his day" in The City for breaking the all-time American baseball home run record, San Francisco celebrated its own musical home run king, Ron Thompson. By official proclamation of Mayor Gavin Newsom, September 5, 2007, was declared "Ron Thompson Day in San Francisco."
The City of Fremont followed suit in 2009, and officially declared April 25, 2009, as“Ron Thompson Day in Fremont.” Ron's hometown of Newark, California, will be providing its own recognition to Ron on September 19, 2009, when Ron will preside as Grand Marshal at the 54th Annual Newark Days Parade.
Tom Mazzolini, founder and producer of the San Francisco Blues Festival, the longest running blues festival in the United States, said, “I’ve always felt Ron is the most talented blues guitarist I’ve ever seen. He can do it all. He’s extraordinarily gifted. What many folks aren’t aware of is that Ron was a huge asset in the re-emergence of John Lee Hooker. He was the foundation for that boogie sound.”
Thompson tours and performs year round. Recent shows have included a summer tour with Chris Isaak; shows with Bruce Willis; two stints on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise with such musical VIPs as Taj Mahal and Elvin Bishop; and many more. In the intervening years since he was Hooker's "Main Man," Thompson's musical career has steadily soared, and he picked up a Grammy nomination and many other awards and accolades. He was recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, and participated in this year's San Francisco Jazz Festival, where he performed and taught the Discover Jazz “Blues Guitar” lecture.