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Goner Message Board / ???? / Bo Diddley RIP
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:03 am
 
Just heard on the news.
The Originator.
RIP.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:07 am
 
bummer.

who's going to tell Bazooka Joe?
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:11 am
 
Bo was incredibly nice to me when I met him years ago.
He let me hold his guitar and even took the picture.
Bo knew...
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:13 am
 
http://www.wkrg.com/news/article/bo_diddley_has_died/14448/

Bo knew letting people hold guitars.
he got a rattle snake for a neack-tie, too!
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:16 am
 
I just now saw this on the news. I can believe it, but I don't want to. Horrible, horrible news and a tragic loss for rock'n'roll.

R.I.P. Bo Diddley. You've made me happier than anyone else in the world of music.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:20 am
 
damn, that really sucks. RIP.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:27 am
 
Aw, man. What a drag.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:30 am
 
i've been wondering about him since he had that stroke - they never really released any updates on his condition.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:30 am
 
a cryin' shame...RIP
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:31 am
 
goddamn this hurts bad.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:31 am
 
Oh man...
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:33 am
 
R.I.P. Bo Diddley . The inspiration of generation after generation. We will never forget you. Thank you Bo Diddley.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:36 am
 
a fucking giant


oh

i thought this was about bazooka joe


this is bad news too
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:37 am
 
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This is awful.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:40 am
 
Utmost gratitude and respect to the great man!
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:42 am
 
Holy shit this sucks. I've already listened to him for hours in the last week and I guess it's time to listen some more.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 11:42 am
 
baker is now officially on my list of people that suck.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:05 pm
 
From: John Floyd <jlfloyd@earthlink.net>
Date: June 2, 2008 11:38:31 AM CDT
To: stratlist@orel.ws
Subject: Re: [stratlist] Bo Diddley RIP


No, goddammit, no. That grouchy genius can't be dead. He was a fucking Gunslinger. He fought monsters. He was loose, he was a surfer, he was a man, he was a lumberjack, he would not be accused, he was looking for a woman, he could bounce, he could twist, he was cookie-headed, he was powered by heart-o-matic love, he was bad, he did the crawdaddy, he let them bring it to Jerome, he shot tombstone bullets, he wore a fucking cobra snake around his neck, he had a rock and roll nurse who gave him pills, he stopped mumbling and talked out loud, he was my dearest rock and roll darling. He was a lot of things, goddammit, but he can't be dead. There's no fucking "Bo Diddley's Dead" in his catalog.

Fuck, I haven't cried in ages.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:07 pm
 
Man...that was beautiful
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:10 pm
 
baker is now officially on my list of people that suck.


i was ever OFF that list?
damn
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:14 pm
 
Man...that was beautiful


it sure was! great email.

i was ever OFF that list?
damn



you were never on it until today. nice way to disrespect Bo. get lost, creep.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:19 pm
 
I'm floored.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:20 pm
 
Ike Turner, Paul Davis, now Bo Diddley...seems like a great year for great Mississippi musicians to die.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:23 pm
 
McComb's FINEST.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:25 pm
 
McComb/Summit, MS births:

1928: Bo Diddley
1931: John Gilmore
1932: Rev. Charlie Jackson

My ground zero, right there.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:25 pm
 
i have listened to and loved his music longer than most people here have been alive--since i was 15 (thanks Steve Black); i have many times here and elsewhere posted vids and tributes to the man. i also said it was bad news. he was old. he was sick. i am sorry. i never saw you jump in when people were disrespecting (to put it mildly) my marriage, child, job, or writing.

if you want a prayer go ask bradx. i lost my faith awhile back.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:27 pm
 
i also love Rev Jackson and Mr Gilmore.

but favre still sucks.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:34 pm
 
glad i got to see him.

i hope he felt he finally got his "due" because he deserved it.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:35 pm
 
the best of the best
1. Bo D
Pretty Thing
you can't judge a book
bring it to jerome
crackin up
story of Bo
diddley daddy
mona
here tis
i'm a man
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:39 pm
 
the best of the best
1. Bo D
Pretty Thing
you can\'t judge a book
bring it to jerome
crackin up
story of Bo
diddley daddy
mona
here tis
i\'m a man


cops and robbers!!!!!!!!!!

r.i.p.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:41 pm
 
Fuck.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 12:56 pm
 
truly sad... what a bummer
he defies words
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 1:03 pm
 
Bye Bye Bo! R.I.P.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 1:18 pm
 
someone else's words:

Bo Diddley invented rock and roll.

He spoke 14 languages fluently, and narrowly missed winning the Nobel Prize for Boogaliciousness.

He not only played guitar, but could use one to fly an airplane or perform brain surgery.

If he ever encountered a crying child, he would reach into his hip pocket and pull out a fuzzy puppy, which he would give to the child as a gift. The puppies had magic healing powers, I am told.

He was a saint.

He always paid his musicians a living wage, and he healed their carpal tunnel syndrome by rubbing drops of his sweat on their aching wrists.

He would have lived forever, but we weren't good enough for him.

God rest you, Bo Diddley.

You left us too soon.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 1:18 pm
 
Dearest Darling's top of my list.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 1:19 pm
 
I saw him a coupla years ago and it was really bad, he was just to old and kinda fucked up, kept going on these diatribes about how suspicious it was that all these black folk are getting diabetes...conspiracy theory style....but I'll forgive the man that, because, well...he was the man....R.I.P....
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 1:24 pm
 
When you're a kid you don't have much perspective, for example you sometimes think that things that are happening are happening for the first time ever in the history of the world...you don't get the seediness of the past until you dig down deep, which was very true of music for quite a while, maybe until V.U. started singing about heroin, even though admittedly the double entendres of some of those early songs fly over most adolescent heads......

...which leads me to Bo Diddley...I think the song "Pills" really woke me up as a human being and kinda blew that childhood misconception of the past for me.....Thanks Bo!

p.s. I never new he had been banned by Ed Sullivan
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 1:35 pm
 
I saw him a coupla years ago and it was really bad, he was just to old and kinda fucked up, kept going on these diatribes about how suspicious it was that all these black folk are getting diabetes...conspiracy theory style....but I'll forgive the man that, because, well...he was the man....R.I.P....

You should be stoked that you were in the presence of greatness!
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 1:37 pm
 
Oh I am..believe me...but the music sucked too...he just didn't have it anymore...it was sad....but I've still got my records, and he plays his ass off on those.....
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 1:39 pm
 
No, goddammit, no. That grouchy genius can't be dead. He was a fucking Gunslinger. He fought monsters. He was loose, he was a surfer, he was a man, he was a lumberjack, he would not be accused, he was looking for a woman, he could bounce, he could twist, he was cookie-headed, he was powered by heart-o-matic love, he was bad, he did the crawdaddy, he let them bring it to Jerome, he shot tombstone bullets, he wore a fucking cobra snake around his neck, he had a rock and roll nurse who gave him pills, he stopped mumbling and talked out loud, he was my dearest rock and roll darling. He was a lot of things, goddammit, but he can't be dead. There's no fucking "Bo Diddley's Dead" in his catalog.


This is the greatest thing that will be written about Mr. Diddley in the coming week.

I would just like to add to the list of his accomplishments that he was also a roadrunner, the greatest lover in the world, he didn't judge a book by looking at its cover, he had a woman farm, and that he was a mess - a killer diller.

"If I go to heaven and you're not there I'll write your name on the heavenly stairs. If you aren't there by judgement day then I'll know you went the other way."
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 1:57 pm
 
Is Jerome Green dead too???
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 2:45 pm
 
It got brought to him in about '73
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 2:47 pm
 
Oh I am..believe me...but the music sucked too...he just didn't have it anymore...it was sad....but I've still got my records, and he plays his ass off on those.....

I know i'm blasting "IN THE SPOTLIGHT"! rite now................
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 2:47 pm
 
Utmost gratitude and respect to the great man!

Crucial(ly sad).
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 2:58 pm
 
I know i'm blasting "IN THE SPOTLIGHT"! rite now


that's what i played 1st this afternoon!
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 2:58 pm
 
too tough to die! how can it be?

death stinks.

thanks Bo!
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 3:40 pm
 
First time I saw him was when he opened for the Clash.
Once again, the Brits show us how to appreciate our own greats.

I later saw him at a State Fair gig, and it was not inspiring.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 3:57 pm
 
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 4:12 pm
 
He didnt sell as many records as Fats Domino, and he never reached the heights that Elvis Presley did, but Mr. Diddley is one of the founding fathers of rock and roll. Music would be so different withouth him. Glad he got his due in recent years, and glad to see so many younger folks are hip to him.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 4:36 pm
 
Thanks,Bo Diddley for all the GREAT music...especially my favorite "Pills".
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 4:43 pm
 
Bo Diddley: only show I've seen at the Peabody in Memphis.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 4:47 pm
 
The MAN.

Ronnie Hawkins:

"Abraham Lincoln said that all men were created equal, but he never saw Bo Diddley in the shower."

I can't even be sad. He made it to 79, which is more of a run than most who've lived his kind of life get. Putting on the records now, just makes me feel lucky to have shared the same planet with such as he.

All praise be to Bo!
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 5:31 pm
 
I love Bo Diddley.
About 2 years ago I was so excited when I found out that he was coming to play my city, I was going to sneak in because he was playing at a bar. Then my friend wins two tickets from a radio show and I was sure I'd get to see him. He couldn't go though because it was a weekday and everyone was telling me that he comes to the city almost every year so that I should just wait until I was old enough to get into bars. So yesterday I was thinking about checking his tour schedule, hoping that he'd be coming sometime soon. I knew back then that it would probably be my last chance.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 5:43 pm
 
Pawnbroker: Burnt my fingers, man.
Louis Winthorpe III: I beg your pardon?
Pawnbroker: Man, that watch is so hot, it's smokin'.
Louis Winthorpe III: Hot? Do you mean to imply stolen?
Pawnbroker: I'll give you 50 bucks for it.
Louis Winthorpe III: Fifty bucks? No, no, no. This is a Rouchefoucauld. The thinnest water-resistant watch in the world. Singularly unique, sculptured in design, hand-crafted in Switzerland, and water resistant to three atmospheres. This is *the* sports watch of the '80s. Six thousand, nine hundred and fifty five dollars retail!
Pawnbroker: You got a receipt?
Louis Winthorpe III: Look, it tells time simultaneously in Monte Carlo, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Rome, and Gstaad.
Pawnbroker: In Philadelphia, it's worth 50 bucks.

-Ryan
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 6:21 pm
 


I showed the son's this clip today while explaining his importance to rock-n-roll. They got exactly what I was trying to tell them.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 6:35 pm
 
Look at them amps!!!

Good on ya for showing the kids...this shit didn't start with Green Day...like I said...go backwards and you wind up at Bo.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 7:16 pm | Edited by: dale
 
I allow them Green Day but they have to put up with my "where it came from" on a lessons daily. They knew that performance cannot be denied. That guitar sound, the girls shimmy and that beat...Hey, Someone's gotta raise some kids to keep it real.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 7:35 pm
 
Horrible news. Glad I got to see him at least once.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 7:43 pm
 
dale, i seen that clip a million times, but thanks for posting it. i watched it and i just done lost it. so perfect. could anybody even dance like that? damn, he was one in a million and i hold him in higher esteem than ANYBODY else from the day. The only person that could even compare is James Brown. That was an equally devastating loss, and it was only a half a year ago. I just played every bo rec in my collection for the last few hours. it was a good time. also ended my set with mickey and sylvia's "love is strange" which was written by bo under a pseudonym. what a great song. i feel like such a baby right now.
Posted: Jun 2, 2008 8:38 pm
 
damn. just heard about this. RIP
Posted: Jun 3, 2008 12:35 am
 
Mi watched it and i just done lost it. so perfect.

I'm a puss. I teared up too. The boys new how much he meant from me trying to hide the tears
Posted: Jun 3, 2008 5:47 am
 
Jeez.
Posted: Jun 3, 2008 8:48 am
 
He made it to 79

10 days older than water!
Posted: Jun 3, 2008 11:13 am
 
BO DID IT!

Here's Jim Dickinson recounting playing a gig supporting Bo!

"Jim Dickinson & The Regents: A Memphis Tale

Joss Hutton, Bucketful of Brains, 1997

IT WAS ABOUT half an hour past midnight on a hot and humid Sunday evening in late September when your intrepid Bucketfull team, aided and abetted by Memphis Mojo's head-honcho Ross, approached a nondescript fire door, off a seedy alley, in the downtown area of Memphis and knocked loudly three times. Working on a tip-off from the guy who runs Audiomania " a great record store on Madison, in 'Midtown' Memphis " we were looking to find a legend. Well, we hit paydirt.

In a small, scrubby club called Barristers " the scene of many a great nite of Memphis music " in front of about fifteen of his friends and family, we witnessed James Luther Dickinson lead a reunion of his high school band; The Regents.

Dickinson is still very much a part of the Memphis music scene, unlike so many of his contemporaries, and members of the local glitterati " The Grifters, The Hellcats and The Oblivians plus the folks from Shangri-La Records " came along to pay homage, get down and suck on a few beers!

The imposing 'Rev. Luther' led " ex-Regents " 'Tricky Dicky' Ireland (Guitar) and 'Steady Eddie' Tamber (Drums), his sons " also known as Memphis band DDT " Cody 'Suitman' Dickinson (Drums) and 'Lightnin' Luther' Dickinson (Guitar) plus 'Mr' Paul Taylor (Bass) in giving raucous life to totally rockin' versions of such classics as 'Train Kept A-Rollin'' and 'Drinking Wine Spoon-O-Dee'.

The atmosphere was warm and friendly, the beer iced and the band played on.......

COME BACK there with us now and take a whiff as the leader of The Regents, Sun recording artists The Jesters, Rolling Stones pianist, Mud Boy & The Neutrons alumni and member of The Dixie Flyers " The Reverend James Luther Dickinson " regales us with a tale both tall and true:

"The high bourbon-mark " as it were " of our career was one night in 1959 at the National Guard Armory when we opened for Bo Diddley.

"That night there was this slight contract dispute. Bo Diddley " who was several hours late when he got there " he looked at the contract.

"Richard Sales " who was then president of TKO, putting on the dance " he had this contract. He says, 'Now you're taking one break " you're here late already " now you're just gonna take one break.'

"And Bo Diddley says, 'No, I'm taking three breaks.'

"Richard says, 'No, no " look down here in the contract " it says you're taking one break.'

"Bo Diddley reaches in his pocket and he gets this little greasy square of paper and he unfolds it about twenty times and " sure enough " it's the contract.

"And he says, 'Yeah.' " he folds it back up and puts it in his pocket " 'it says that in my contract too but I tell you what.'

"He points at me and says, 'You could have been Bo Diddley,' " he points at Stanley and says " 'or he could have been Bo Diddley but I am Bo Diddley and Bo Diddley is taking three breaks.'

"He took three breaks and we played the breaks.

"He was way up on a pedestal and Graflund was trying to climb up there and get to him " so he could play his maracas " wearing a six-pack of beer on his head like an Indian headdress. It was a spectacular moment.

"Bo Diddley never came down " he stayed up there all night " and he looked down at one point, we were playing 'Smokestack Lightnin'' " I think " and kinda gave us the thumbs up.

"Y'know, I thought I had it made at that moment.

"He had a maraca-player named Jerome Green and I decided that I was gonna get my first 'theatrical' autograph.

"So, I went into the bathroom in between sets. Bo Diddley is still up there but Jerome and Clifton, the drummer, went in the bathroom.

"Jerome was sitting in the urinal " with a hairnet on over his pompadour " reading a Batman comic-book.

"He autographed my guitar case " my Silvertone guitar case that I bought from new and wish I still had " 'Jerome Green, Bo Diddley Band.'

"If Bo Diddley were here tonight, he would say..."

The Regents then launched into a cataclysmic medley of 'Bo Diddley'/'Who Do You Love' and the fate of our souls " and livers " was secured."
Posted: Jun 3, 2008 11:15 am
 
Posted: Jun 3, 2008 11:41 am
 
"Bo Diddley never came down …quot; he stayed up there all night …quot; and he looked down at one point, we were playing 'Smokestack Lightnin'' …quot; I think …quot; and kinda gave us the thumbs up.

What's up with all this ...quot. Quot...
Posted: Jun 3, 2008 11:42 am
 
Mailman just delivered a package of 78s that includes "Bo Diddley" / "I'm a Man" and Eddy Ware's "Lima Beans". Party!
Posted: Jun 3, 2008 4:56 pm
 
What's up with all this ...quot. Quot...

Normally, it's the sound of you whacking off, you'd hear it if you weren't screaming "Daddy!" into the pillow... but in this case, it's a problem with using long dashes as punctuation in the orig piece...
Posted: Jun 3, 2008 10:39 pm
 
sucks, heard about it on the classic rock station up north while camping, dj says "they call him the father of rock n roll, i thought that was rich(ard) little?" and then he plays fucking REO speedwagon. fucker........
Posted: Jun 3, 2008 11:29 pm
 
Well REO is a close 2nd.
'I'm Going to Keep On Loving You' Bo!
Posted: Jun 3, 2008 11:57 pm
 
actually it was golden country, which is probably my fave reo speedwagon song (REO always reminds me of diamond reo, not speedwagon)
Posted: Jun 4, 2008 6:33 am
 
What's up with all this ...quot. Quot...

Normally, it's the sound of you whacking off, you'd hear it if you weren't screaming "Daddy!" into the pillow... but in this case, it's a problem with using long dashes as punctuation in the orig piece...


I think your "attempt" at "humor" is autobiographical in origin. "QUOT!"
Posted: Jun 4, 2008 8:54 pm
 
http://33and13.blogspot.com/2008/06/bo-diddley-dies-at-79.html

people need to check ou thte instrumentals on the self titles 'Bo Diddley'

Bo's Bounce - 1 minute 35 seconds of pure slapback echo soul!
Posted: Jun 4, 2008 8:58 pm
 
weirdest bo story i got at the moment:

christine's step dad made me watch motherfucking eddie and the cruisers II today. Bo Diddley was in it, playing himself being interviewd about "Eddie." It was perhaps the most ironically placed and timed appearance i've ever seen in a movie. if you get a chance to see it don't pass it up. it's bril!
Posted: Jun 6, 2008 9:04 am
 
Bo tribute from Dave the Spazz:

http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/27485
Posted: Jun 6, 2008 9:12 am
 
dave the spazz rules. whoo!
Posted: Jun 6, 2008 9:29 am
 
i agree. that makes us best friends. PARTY!
Posted: Jun 6, 2008 10:07 am
 
Bo tribute from Dave the Spazz:

http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/27485



wow! the orig version of "love is strange!"

dave's gettin' deep in this show. lots of oddball tracks. crazy!
Posted: Jun 6, 2008 10:12 am
 
hookorcrook
Posted: Jun 6, 2008 12:57 pm
 
he was my favorite, as anyone who has ever been to my house can attest. I actually got to hang out with him for about 15 minutes a few years ago after a county fair show and though his set wasn't 100% good he was absolutely as mystifying personally as I would ever have imagined. he was totally in his own world, against the world, exactly right.

bay area folks, clark is having a bo dance party at his house saturday (tomorrow) night!
Posted: Jun 6, 2008 2:07 pm
 
i still have my xerox of the pic with you two hanging in my office!
hookorcrook
Posted: Jun 6, 2008 4:15 pm
 
ha! i am going to start sending those out more often.
Posted: Jun 7, 2008 5:28 pm
 
playing a half-hour set of bo at ttwth party tonight!
Posted: Jun 9, 2008 8:45 am
 
http://music.guardian.co.uk/rock/story/0,,2283852,00.html

Bo Diddley told me to quit smoking

Funny and eccentric, Bo Diddley was someone everyone wanted to talk to - but not to mess with. Musician John Moore recalls several happy encounters with the rhythm king

Friday June 6, 2008
The Guardian

One evening in 1981, I knocked on the dressing room door at the Halfmoon in Putney, feeling terribly nervous and extremely foolish, but determined to meet the man who was playing there that evening. I was pretty sure that I'd be sent away with a flea in my ear, but the minuscule possibility of success far outweighed any potential humiliation. I would not return home to Wokingham without at least trying to shake the hand of the great Bo Diddley, one of the pioneers of rock'n'roll.

I was accompanied by my dad's friend, Peter Banham, who was responsible for my musical education. At the age of 10, when I'd first started having guitar lessons, he'd tired of my renditions of Streets of London, and given me some "proper stuff" to learn. Peter had been a teenager in the early 60s and had a fabulous collection of records - mainly purchased at Dobell's Jazz shop on Charing Cross Road in central London. While my schoolfriends listened to Showaddywaddy, Darts and the Rubettes, I had Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins and Bo Diddley for company.

Having only two small daughters, and delighted at the effect his record collection had had on me, Peter would borrow me from time to time to accompany him to gigs. By the time we got to see Bo Diddley, I was 16. Having somehow succeeded in gaining admittance to the dressing room, I sat quietly, awestruck about being in such close proximity to my hero. He was having his picture taken at the time. I listened to him talk and make jokes: he seemed to laugh a lot.

An American woman sat down next to me and we began to chat. I told her how much I loved Bo, and asked her what she thought my chances were of my getting to speak to him. She said he was very busy, and not to be too disappointed if I didn't get the chance, but she'd try for me. She introduced herself as his wife, Kay. As we waited, I told her I'd been to see where he was born in Mississippi, after persuading my mother we should go on a Freddie Laker Fly-Drive holiday whose itinerary, at my insistence, included the birthplaces of the great bluesmen and rock'n'rollers.

"You know what?" she said, " He's going want to know about that." As soon as he'd finished the photos, she called him over and introduced us, telling him, "This young man's been to McComb."

Talking to Bo Diddley was wonderful. The voice that shouted out "I'm a roadrunner honeyyyyyy" and "What you say man, quit mumblin' and talk out loud" was now directed at me. He told me he wasn't actually born in McComb, but in a tiny place along the highway called Magnolia, Mississippi. That was even better. We'd spent half a day there and he wanted me to tell him all about it. George White, who was writing Bo's biography, took our picture and promised to send it to me: as you can see, he was as good as his word. As we shook hands, I remember thinking how huge Bo's hands were, and his arm felt as if it were made of iron: no wonder he played rhythm guitar.

His tour was passing Reading that weekend, which was just three stops away from my home on the train, and he told me that if I wanted to come, my name would be on the door - an unimaginable honour - and to get there early and come and find him.

I followed his instructions, and backstage I asked him about the song Cops and Robbers -a song about being held at gunpoint by a short-sighted villain and made to act as the getaway driver in a liquor store heist in Chicago. Having robbed the store, the villain runs and jumps into the car, failing to notice it's the wrong one - a police car. This was, Bo told me, all true, except a line about a cigarette: he said he'd never smoked in his life, that he didn't like seeing young people smoke, and that I should quit. The best thing that night was that he let me play his famous rectangular guitar. It was tuned to open E, and he showed me the fingering he used. Moments later, somebody else picked it up without asking. "Nobody touches my guitar unless I tell them it's all right," he shouted.

As kind as he was, nobody could mess with Bo Diddley. He was funny and eccentric and made rock'n'roll records that made everybody feel good, but do anything to offend him and there was a big mean old bluesman waiting to get out. As we parted, his wife gave me their address in Florida and said anytime I was down that way to look them up. Bo then added that he was the sheriff of that town: "So if you mess around down there I'll have to arrest you." Then he laughed.

The next time I met him was seven years later in New York. By that time, having been a member of the Jesus and Mary Chain and fronted my own band, I was living the degenerate rock star life to the best of my abilities, and was not quite as fresh-faced as before. I felt rather guilty about seeing him, especially as he'd just made a heartfelt plea to the crowd at the Ritz not to take drugs - a thing I did from time to time. He was a bit suspicious of me at first: my hair was cropped and bleached, and I may have been wearing a nose ring, and I still hadn't given up smoking. I'd taken along the old photo of us together and passed it to him, asking him to sign it. As he looked at it, then at me, he began to laugh, and called his friends over to have a look. "What the hell happened to you, boy? You wait until my wife sees this." I can't remember whether of not he accused me of having been "whupped with an ugly stick", but I think that was on his mind.

I saw Bo Diddley play many times with various backing bands. He was never less than enthralling: even the last few times where he was evidently too old to really cut loose, you still felt that he might. And now my daughter loves him, with virtually no prompting from me. She's even got a rectangular guitar. Having listened to his songs and seen his picture, she said that he looked like a very nice man, and she liked his sound because it made her feel fizzy inside. I know what she means.

While he was recuperating from illness last year, I sent him a photo and a film of her singing along to Who Do You Love?, along with a copy of the old photo from the Halfmoon in Putney. I hope he got them. Anyway, my story is not so rare. Over the years, Bo Diddley met and inspired thousands of teenage twangers who made it to his dressing room and remembered their manners. Some of them even went on to make records of their own.

Bo Diddley was a one-off. He was a lean, mean, lovable, dangerous, gun-slinging, guitar-playing genius, and as my daughter pointed out, a very nice man. Bo Diddley RIP.
Posted: Jun 9, 2008 8:53 am
 
so many great stories...
Posted: Jun 9, 2008 9:24 am
 
What Have They Done To My Roots, Ma? Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley

Richard Williams, Melody Maker, 30 October 1971

WHEN JOHN LENNON ended a recent epistle to Mailbag with a line saying "LP Winner: I’d like Chuck Berry, please," he wasn’t joking. Modern rock music would not have taken the course it did had it not been for two men, Berry and his label-mate Bo Diddley.

Lennon and Bob Dylan both share the primary influence of Berry, who’s shaped the rhythmic and verbal direction of much of their work, while Diddley exerted a powerful effect on the Stones and on the whole R&B side of early-‘60s British pop (Pretty Things, Downliners Sect, etc.), which was just as important in the long run as the lighter side, represented by the Liverpool bands. I well remember hearing Roger Chapman and Ric Grech in a fine band called the X-iters in ’63 or ’64, developing the then-unheard of time of 20 minutes to a Diddley medley.

I suppose you could sum it up by saying that while Berry gave the music its hot-rod speed and the ability to create lyrics relating to the teenage infrastructure, Bo contributed the "dirtiness," the earthy down-home quality. His innovations as a guitarist were surely crucial, too; many a budding picker must have been turned inside out by the intro to ‘Roadrunner’, or by the reverb on ‘Hey Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut’.

But after the euphoria of the Great R&B Boom, when ‘Memphis’ made the chart and even little girls debated which was the real Sonny Boy Williamson, the fates of the great Chicago musicians took a severe dip.

It was all down to fashion, and fashion was decreeing that we’d gotten past the earthy stage. Something cleverer was required, a something which led to the West Coast thing, psychedelia, White Blues, acid-rock, and ultimately "Progressive Music," Hah.

So what was happening to Our Two Heroes? They worked, of course, and Chuck even visited Britain twice, for an Epstein concert at the Savile Theatre in 1968 and a year later for the Pop Proms, on both of which occasions he attracted hordes of magnificently backdated rockers, who horrified hippies and bouncers alike by wrecking the respective joints.

But nobody talked about them much, and their Chess and Checker records were quietly forgotten, taken down to the local market stall and exchanged for the latest creation by the Plastic Expanding Goldfish, so that today it’s easy to find second-hand copies bearing that beautiful red and yellow label of Pye’s R&B series.

Chuck went to Mercury, and cut a series of albums which displayed the minimum of A&R sympathy, while Bo didn’t go near a studio for three years.

Last year, however, Chess/Checker were bought up by the GRT Corporation, and flurries of activity were noted. Chuck gladly returned to the company, and Diddley too went back in to record a new album. Things looked bright.

To date, they’ve each recorded two LPs since the reactivation, and the results have been, to say the very least, mixed.

Let’s take Chuck first. Aptly enough, his return album is called Back Home, and has one of the best sleeves I’ve ever seen, Peter Amft’s pictures conveying so accurately the slick, leonine grace of the man.

The music is variable, but contains several moments which approximate what Chuck was doing in the very early ‘60s. Modern recording techniques ensure that the crude blasting noise which made, say, ‘School Days’ so distinctive is almost wholly absent, but ‘Tulane’ is a chase-song in the grand tradition of ‘Jaguar And Thunderbird’, and ‘I’m A Rocker’ has great semi-improvised words, sung over ace rhythm guitar work.

Chuck’s ringing guitar also distinguishes the two instrumentals, and it’s possible to imagine that his powers in this direction hadn’t diminished at all.

His second effort, San Francisco Dues, is in considerable contrast. Nowhere on the whole album is there any suggestion of the energy displayed in ‘I’m A Rocker’. Instead the session is very low-key, extremely relaxed, and in places slightly stoned.

The best things are ‘Lonely School Days’ (Berry never changes " he must be the only 39-year-old schoolboy in the world), and a song called ‘Festival’ in which he talks about all the great black R&B singers getting together on a riverboat for a fantastic floating festival. There are some sly references to white groups, which indicates that Chuck doesn’t think much of their capabilities.

But there are some monsters, too, like ‘My Dream’, in which the man recites a perfectly appalling and embarrassing poem about the house he hopes to build some day. In a very odd and quite inexplicable way it’s entirely consistent with his character, and he also plays whimsical barrelhouse piano through the six minutes which this extraordinary track lasts.

San Francisco Dues is to some extent disappointing, then, but by comparison with the way Checker have treated Diddley this past year, it’s a positive godsend.

Diddley’s first "new" album is called The Black Gladiator, which is fair enough. Even the cover pictures, which show his paunch hanging over Sly-type leather belts, are acceptable as a reflection of his past outrageousness.

But the music is just one lump of sadness after another. All the songs are written by the team of Cornelia Redmond, Bobby Alexias, and Kay McDanial [sic], and none of them show any signs of the wild genius for storytelling which Bo displayed in his arrogant prime.

‘You, Bo Diddley’ is a weak answer to his old theme song, while ‘Funky Fly’ is a straight ahead dance tune, like an updated Chubby Checker. Only on ‘I Don’t Like You’, in which he conducts a mildly salacious conversation with an unnamed lady, is there a suggestion of former bawdy glories.

The band which backs him is a curious one, headed by a organist whose instrument sounds like Booker T’s, but with a mild case of asthma. Seldom is that crazy guitar allowed to have its say, and there are few examples of the famous Diddley Beat.

Nevertheless, it’s a much better record than the one which has recently followed it onto the American market, Another Dimension is the title of this latest effort, and in an attempt to get him through to some nebulous "wider market" he’s been given a bunch of white rock songs and a white rock band to back him up.

He sings surprisingly well throughout, but the sheer fierceness of his delivery makes songs like ‘The Shape I’m In,’ ‘Down On The Corner,’ ‘Bad Moon Rising,’ and ‘Lodi’ sound like so many nursery rhymes. He even gets to sing ‘Bad Side Of The Moon’ " ye Gods, Elias Mc-Daniel singing Elton John!

His own contributions are ‘I Said Shutup Women’ and ‘Pollution’ (no kidding), which hold the seeds of better things, but Bo is consistently upstaged by the sterile horn arrangements and an overbearing femme Soul chorus.

Despite all the above criticisms, I’d still like you to investigate at least some of these records, because Berry and Diddley are such vital figures that anything they do is more important than it may at first seem. Back Home and Another Dimension will shortly be released by Philips, while the others are available from the various London shops which stock imports.

Trick or treat? Only you can decide, but I sure hope that somebody has the sense to shove both these guys into one tiny little studio with a single-track machine, one mike, a bunch of their own songs, and some really funky old sidekicks. Then we might get the goods.
Posted: Jun 9, 2008 9:26 am
 
Bo Diddley - Bo's a Lumberjack!

Charles Shaar Murray, NME, 8 February 1975

THE WHOLE THING about Bo Diddley was that he was by far the weirdest and craziest musician ever to come out of either blues or rock in the '50s.

Unlike Chuck Berry, he made next to no attempt to relate to white high school kids and articulate their fantasies in a voice that could pass for white on the radio. Diddley was black-ass from the word "funky", and the bemused white critics who referred to his work as "jungle music" weren't as far off the beam as might at first be supposed. Primitive it was, sure, but it had a kind of preternatural sophistication, plus a healthy dose of animal cunning " and you'd best believe you could dance to it.

Where Chuck Berry went for the universals of teen life, Bo Diddley eschewed any such self-effacement.

He built himself a whole series of larger than life personas in songs like 'Bo's A Lumberjack', 'Bo's A Gunslinger', 'Bo Diddley Is Loose' and 'Who Do You Love'. He was lover, fighter and shaman. He attributed himself with enormous physical strength, awesome erotic abilities and mastery of the necromantic arts. He was 500% more man. He was a guitar-humping cross between King Kong, Dr Strange, Casanova and Muhammad Ali.

He was completely and utterly mad.

His chief partners in crime were The Duchess (his go'geous sistuh) singing backup and playing a bit of guitar occasionally (not to mention co-writing 'You Ain't Bad', the excellent flip of 'Hey Good Lookin'') and the redoubtable Jerome Green (author of 'Bring It To Jerome') who introduced maraccas to R&B, much to the delight of such honkies as Mick Jagger and Phil May. The rest of the gang were all the Chicago session heavies from the '50s.

He played a strange rectangular Gretsch guitar and he produced an utterly unique sound, rubbery and shimmering, like an elastic band connected to Battersea Power Station, and despite his obvious technical limitations, he was an amazingly subtle and inventive guitarist. The astounding ferocity of his rhythm playing on 'Give Me A Break', his hammering lead on 'I Can Tell', the effortless way he slides around the beat on 'Sad Sack', the humour of 'Mumblin' Guitar' are all the work of a musician of considerable calibre.

On top of all that, he sang gorgeous. When he laid aside his patented jive line and got stuck into some serious blues, he proved himself to be almost in the same league as fellow Chess artists like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. For corroboration, refer to classic performances like 'Call Me', 'Before You Accuse Me', 'You Can't Judge A Book', 'I Can Tell' and 'You Don't Love Me'.

Curiously, Bo Diddley's following now seems limited to antiluvian rockers from the '50s, and a few unreconstructed art students from the early '60s. Nobody plays his songs any more, nobody writes about him and he doesn't sell too many records. While Chuck Berry is lionized to hell and gone, Bo Diddley remains almost totally neglected. The fact that he hasn't made a good record since 1965 may have something to do with that, despite Chess' ludicrous attempts to relaunch him by strapping him into black leather fetish suits and prompting him as "The Black Gladiator". Have mercy!

No, the trouble with Bo Diddley is not that his work was too similar, but too varied to be fully appreciated. He did black street-jive (like 'Say Man') while today's street-funk bands were still in short pants, he did humourous novelty songs, he did straight blues...and he did all those shave-an'-a-haircut-six-bits 'Bo Diddley beat' songs that give the likes of Marc Bolan the right to say things like "Bo Diddley only had three songs." Mind you, Marc followed that up by claiming that Chuck Berry only had eight, so maybe, he's none too reliable on the subject.

For further proof of the variety of Bo's writing, one need on only wrap an ear round the bizarre 'Mr. Khrushchev' which makes a cute contrast to Dylan's 'Hard Rain's Gonna Fall'.

'Mr. Khrushchev' is undoubtedly one of the all-time great ludicrous records " almost totally un-produced, chaotically recorded, conceptually ridiculous, politically completely off the wall and lyrically quite absurd.

It's also a masterpiece.

It's a constant source of amazement to me that 'Mr. Khrushchev' has never been taken into account in any study of politics in rock. For a start, it introduces the unimaginable idea of black rocker as right-winger, including the immortal verse: We as Americans must understand/we gotta unite and protect our land/we gotta stay on alert/to keep our families from gettin' hurt. I mean, get out, Merle Haggard!

In addition to all that, the back-up singers keep singing "Hup-two-three-four", the maraccas are way up front, there's a whole bunch of jive about "this is Sergeant Diddley talkin'".

His black street humour pissed off the blues purists who were unable to recognise his abilities as a bluesman. He was too bluesy to be accepted by the rockers in the same way as Chuck Berry or Jerry Lee Lewis; too idiosyncratic to be a prophet of teenage cool, and too sexually menacing (and too black-sounding) to make it on AM radio. It's only because he was a goddam genius that he made it as far as he did.

In the front half of the '60s, Bo made a heroic attempt to adapt to the times. His music got heavier and more electric, and he brought in a team of female back-up vocalists to shoop-shoop behind him. He issued three singles on Chess, the first of which nibbled at the charts in 1964 and the rest of which vanished without trace.

The first, 'Hey Good Look-in'', was such an archetypal Bo Diddley song that it came as a considerable shock to check the composer credit and find that it had been written by Chuck Berry. It began "Done made Bo Diddley a marshal man/Done deputised Bo Diddley's band", and it had a beautiful throbbing, muzzy guitar sound. It was easily as hypnotic as anything he'd ever done, but since its initial release, it done vanished into limbo.

The second, '500% More Man', was essentially a reworking of his '50s hit 'I'm A Man' (for some reason often erroneously attributed to Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman), which had become popular among British groups and therefore among American punk garage bands. Bo no doubt thought he was onto a good thing by Anglicising his music with a heavier guitar and drum sound, but although it was an amazing single it didn't happen.

Finally, he put out 'Wreckin' My Love Life', which was basic soul minus horns, but the people who would have dug it and launched him onto a new phase somehow didn't get to connect with it.

Since then, he hasn't cut anything worth giving house room, but then apart from 'Tulane' and 'Have Mercy Judge', Chuck Berry hasn't written anything good, either.

Right now, an astonishing number of people have gotten rich by selling a kind of sappy plastic phony black consciousness, while a true black pioneer like Bo Diddley is out in the cold. Which is ludicrous when you consider that he has more to do with what soul music should be about than the likes of Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes.

A cross-section of Bo Diddley's best work can be found on Bo Diddley's Golden Decade and Got My Own Bag Of Tricks, both available on Chess. Pye International's R&B series and later the giveaway Marble Arch series, made most of his work available in the late '50s and early '60s, but it's all long deleted. Recommended albums for junkyard angel freaks are Hey! Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley Rides Again, Bo Diddley In The Spotlight and Bo Diddley's A Gunslinger.
Posted: Jun 9, 2008 10:58 am
 
Diddley’s first "new" album is called The Black Gladiator, which is fair enough. Even the cover pictures, which show his paunch hanging over Sly-type leather belts, are acceptable as a reflection of his past outrageousness.

But the music is just one lump of sadness after another. All the songs are written by the team of Cornelia Redmond, Bobby Alexias, and Kay McDanial [sic], and none of them show any signs of the wild genius for storytelling which Bo displayed in his arrogant prime.

‘You, Bo Diddley’ is a weak answer to his old theme song, while ‘Funky Fly’ is a straight ahead dance tune, like an updated Chubby Checker. Only on ‘I Don’t Like You’, in which he conducts a mildly salacious conversation with an unnamed lady, is there a suggestion of former bawdy glories.

The band which backs him is a curious one, headed by a organist whose instrument sounds like Booker T’s, but with a mild case of asthma. Seldom is that crazy guitar allowed to have its say, and there are few examples of the famous Diddley Beat.

Nevertheless, it’s a much better record than the one which has recently followed it onto the American market, Another Dimension is the title of this latest effort, and in an attempt to get him through to some nebulous "wider market" he’s been given a bunch of white rock songs and a white rock band to back him up.


blasphemer! "another dimension" is really weak though. one cool breakbeat on it, but otherwise a solidly bad record.
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