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Song of the Moment: The Story of Bo Diddley

Reverberations from the death of Bo Diddley are still being felt in the music world, and tributes are pouring from everywhere (including right here at the Beachwood ), all well-deserved. But among the very first tributes to The Gunslinger came way back in 1964, from The Animals, who recorded a truly amazing song called "The Story of Bo Diddley"

The song was not only a funny, informative self-effacing rap by Eric Burdon in which he tells how Bo Diddley supposedly came to England and told him his music was "rubbish," but also a music history lesson for young Baby Boomers on where their British Invasion rock 'n' roll really came from. It begins as a remake of the song "Bo Diddley" but turns into a manifesto declaring allegiance to all things rock 'n' roll. (Lyrics below)


The Story of Bo Diddley/The Animals

Now let's hear the story of Bo Diddley
And the rock 'n' roll scene in general
Bo Diddley was born Ellis McDaniel in a place called McComb,
Mississippi about 1926
He moved to Chicago about 1938
Where his name was eventually changed to Bo Diddley

He practiced the guitar every day and sometimes into the night
Till his papa's hair began to turn white
His Pa said, "Son, listen here, I know
You can stay but that guitar has just gotta go"
So he pulled his hat down over his eyes
Headed out for them Western Skies
I think Bob Dylan said that
He hit New York City

He began to play at the Apollo in Harlem
Good scene there, everybody raving
One day, one night, came a Cadillac with four headlights
Came a man with a big, long, fat, cigar said,
"C'mere son, I'm gonna make you a star"
Bo Diddley said, "Uh, what's in it for me?"
Man said, "Shut your mouth son, play the guitar
And you just wait and see"

Well, that boy made it, he made it real big
And so did the rest of the rock 'n' roll scene along with him
And a white guy named Johnny Otis took Bo Diddley's rhythm
He changed it into hand-jive and it went like this

In a little old country town one day
A little old country band began to play
Add two guitars and a beat-up saxophone
When the drummer said, boy, those cats begin to roam
Oh baby ooh wee oh oh
Ooh la la that rock and roll
Ya hear me ooh wee oh oh
Ooh la la that rock and roll

Then in the U.S. music scene there was big changes made
Due to circumstances beyond our control, such as payola
The rock 'n' roll scene died after two years of solid rock
And you got discs like,
"Take good care of my baby
Please don't ever make her blue"
And so forth

About one year later in a place called Liverpool in England
Four young guys with mop haircuts began to sing stuff like,
"It's been a hard days night and I've been working like a dog"
And so on

In a place called Richmond in Surrey, way down in the Deep South
They got guys with long hair down their back singing
"I wanna be your lover baby I wanna be your man"
Yeah and all that jazz

Now we've doing this number, "Bo Diddley," for quite some time now
Bo Diddley visited this country last year
We were playing at the Club A GoGo in Newcastle, our hometown
The doors opened one night and to our surprise
Walked in the man himself, Bo Diddley
Along with him was Jerome Green, his maraca man,
And the Duchess, his gorgeous sister

And a we were doing this number
Along with them came the Rolling Stones, the Merseybeats,
They're all standing around diggin' it
And I overheard Bo Diddley talkin'
He turned around to Jermone Green
And he said, "Hey, Jerome, what do you think
these guys doin' our material?"
Jerome said, "Uh, where's the bar, man? Please show me to the bar"
He turned around the Duchess
And he said, "Hey Duchess, what do you think of
these young guys doin' our material?"
She said, "I don't know. I only came across
here to see the changin' of the guards and
all that jazz."

Well, Bo Diddley looked up and said to me,
With half closed eyes and a smile,
He said "Man," took off his glasses,
He said, "Man, that sure is the biggest load of
Rubbish I ever heard in my life."

Hey Bo Diddley
Oh Bo Diddley
Yeah Bo Diddley
Oh Bo Diddley
Yeah Bo Diddley


Previously in Song of the Moment:
* Iron Man


Posted on June 6, 2008

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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