Site Meter

June 3, 2008

Bo Diddley RIP

I really haven't been following the news lately, so it comes as no surprise to me that I'm a day late realising that Bo Diddley has passed away.

Another of the primal bluesmen gone.

I'm kicking myself that I didn't go to see B.B. King when he played in the UK recently. I was put off because he had Gary Moore playing with him. For whatever reason Mr Moore is a musician that I've just never been able to get into, and that put me off seeing B.B.

Dumb. Very dumb. Mistake!

Many years ago I had the pleasure of seeing Albert Collins play live, which was great... very funky, hard-core blues. His guitar tone was as sharp as a knife. The opening act was someone I'd not heard of: Mr John Hammond Jr... a white dude bashing out delta blues like he was born to it. Turns out he used to be one of Duane Allman's best friends.

Back to Bo! I'm not going to lie and say that I was a major fan, but I was definitely aware of his stuff from an early age. I remember I used to listen to a cassette tape of Mr D playing, full volume, burning around in my first car. Picture a blues-tinged version of the "Bohemian Rhapsody" scene from Wayne's World, right down to the little blue hatchback.

Songs that stick in my head: "Roadrunner", "Mona", "Who Do You Love", "Bo Diddley"... the list goes on. Bo was a pioneer of branding, deliberately creating a cult of personality around his stage presence. As soon as you heard the distinctive Bo Diddley shuffle or caught a glimpse of that outrageous rectangular guitar, you knew what was coming.

Imitated but never bettered, I give you... MR BO DIDDLEY!!!!!

1 comment:

Axe Victim said...

I saw Bo Diddley play Hammersmith Odeon once on a bill shared with Ron Wood. It was amazing. The pair later released an album from their tour, this was from Tokyo or somewhere. Great days.