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June 3, 2008

We got the good time music with the Bo Diddley beat
Bo Diddley

Frank Mellech
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Frank Mellech
I never met Bo Diddley. I saw him play twice. Once as an opening act and once as a blues act.
When he was an opener for some band I've forgotten about he was pretty poor. He was locked into a psychedelic cowboy thing, didn't play any of his hits and just jammed for what seemed like hours.
If it wasn't that he was Bo Diddley I would have forgotten that set too. The Naked Vampire I remember thinking I'd have gotten tired of playing "Who Do You Love" after 30 years too.
As the headliner at a blues festival he was better, much better. Although I think his music was blues in the same way I guess you could call Little Richard the blues. The roots were there but you had to look hard.
Bo Diddley, with Jerome and the Duchess, made something new, if Rock & Roll hadn't already been invented the pounding tom toms and the high end maraca sizzle would have been something that terrified and excited the world.
And the lyrics. No ones ever written a better line than, "I got a tombstone hat and a graveyard mind. I'm just twenty two and I don't mind dying. So come on, take a walk with me child and tell me: Who do you love?"
Its odd. Hearing that Bo Diddley died yesterday doesn't feel like a hole in the heart. There's too much music out there. Too much that wouldn't have happened with out him. From Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue" to George Thorogood's appropriation of the Bo Diddley beat with his driving covers like "Bad To The Bone". In fact anytime the drummer doesn't do just a one-two-three-four but instead embellishes and punches the beat into submission, I think of Bo Diddley.
So one last time let's "Bring It To Jerome" and be glad that there are people out there who aren't afraid to lead, even if its just for a tiny speck of time a leader will always change the world as we know it.

My puppy's brother is coming for a visit. We're excited but also looking at a lot of cleaning and prep.
That's not exciting . . .

Comments

i couldn't agree more.

the world is a better place for having had Bo Diddley in it.

rock on.

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