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Hey Bo Diddley


From The Australian: "I DON'T sound like nobody!" was Bo Diddley's maxim in the 1950s but over the decades dozens have tried to sound like him.

Often imitated but not always acknowledged, the influence of the Bo Diddley beat - driving and relentless like the chant of a chain gang - is heard clearest and most famously on the Rolling Stones' "Not Fade Away."

But that sound, which Bo Diddley called his "tradesman's knock", is just as discernible on U2's "Desire," or versions of the garage classic "I Want Candy" recorded by the Strangeloves and Bow Wow Wow two decades apart, or on George Michael's "Faith."

Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry aside, arguably none of the first generation of American rock 'n' rollers had a greater impact on the subsequent course of popular music."


Bo Diddley: The Beat That Will Go On:

Bo Diddley, who died on Monday, understood the power of suggesting the past and the future at the same time, combining country wisdom and space-age innovation on the same record.

The essence of his art can be found on the rock 'n' roll records he made between 1955 and 1962, before the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, who worshiped him, commercially buried him.


From his Wikipedia entry:

Bo Diddley was well known for the "Bo Diddley beat," a rumba-like beat (see clave), similar to "hambone", a style used by street performers who play out the beat by slapping and patting their arms, legs, chest, and cheeks while chanting rhymes. Occasionally (but incorrectly) referred to as a "shave and a haircut" beat, Diddley came across it while trying to play Gene Autry's "(I've Got Spurs That) Jingle, Jangle, Jingle". Three years before Bo's "Bo Diddley," a song that closely resembles it, "Hambone," was cut by Red Saunders' Orchestra with The Hambone Kids.


From Bo Diddley - The Originator:

In early on-line chats in 1997, Tom Petty happily answered questions from fans. One of the questions was: 'You've played with a lot of legendary rockers. Any others you would like to play with?" Tom Petty immediately answered, "BO DIDDLEY". At the 1997 Fillmore shows, the band often played the BO DIDDLEY song "Diddy Wah Diddy". When introducing the song, Tom Petty said: "There is no one we admire in the whole world more than Mr. BO DIDDLEY. If BO DIDDLEY was English, I think he should be knighted. Actually, this country should build a monument in every State to BO DIDDLEY. Elvis is King, But Diddley is Daddy".


Pioneer of a Beat Is Still Riffing for His Due (2003):

Every morning at 4 a.m., Bo Diddley walks into a ramshackle studio on his 76-acre property outside Gainesville to write music. Several electric guitars are scattered on the floor. The studio, a double-wide trailer, is crammed with recording equipment, a synthesizer and electronic gadgets of obscure types. Piled in every corner are boxes of tapes of Bo Diddley songs never released.


1. "I hate it. I call it rap-crap," Diddley said in a 1996 interview. "I can't seem to get my records played but they'll play all this garbage."

2. Elvis was not the first," Diddley told Rolling Stone magazine in 2005. "I was the first son-of-a-gun out there. Me and Chuck Berry. And I'm very sick of the lie. You know, we're over that black-and-white crap, and that was all the reason Elvis got the . . .

3. "Tell everybody you never get too old to rock 'n' roll," Diddley told National Public Radio in 2007.


Bo, You Don't Know Diddley!


Comments welcome.


Posted on June 2, 2008

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