Posted on June 2, 2008
Posted by John Scalzi
How cool was he? He had his own rhythm named after him. That’s pretty damn cool, my friends.
One of the great originals of rock and roll. Rest easy.
Saw Bo play at the Long Beach Blues Festival a few years back. Unlike Chuck Berry, who was on the same bill and simply phoned in his performance, Bo worked hard to keep abreast of what was happening in music and was never averse to incorporating new stuff into his work. He did some new material that was quite modern and paid homage to his original hits. A guy who never got what he should have from what he contributed (but let’s not go into that here), I’m gonna miss him.
I’ve got a friend whose pride and joy is a Gretsch Bo-diddley guitar he got a couple years ago. I can only imagine how sad this is going to make him.
It’s a shame to see another entertainment legend go out.
Sad news indeed.
I met Diddley in ’98 (photo: http://tinyurl.com/4b78jj,) and got to spend a bit of time with him. In addition to being one hell of a performer, he was also a genuinely nice guy. If anyone had a right to be bitter about how the business had treated him, it was Bo, but he seemed happy just to be performing and still working at what he loved.
On a side-note, re: that Long Beach Blues Fest that GVDub spoke of…
I was there, too. Bo Diddley was great; Chuck Berry was going through the motions. I was backstage before his set and Berry had pulled up in a Town Car. He parked it outside his trailer, but never got out of the car. He just sat there behind the wheel with the motor running, unwilling to leave the A/C. As people began to recognize who was in the car, they approached to ask for autographs. Berry would crack the window about 1/2″, they’d pass in paper and pen, he would sign and pass back out, then roll the window right back up. Most of the time he didn’t even speak to the fans.
It served to emphasize what a class act Diddley was.
I never saw Bo perform live, but I remember my mother putting his music on the turntable and I’d dance like an idiot to that churning, 5/4 beat.
Man, I still dance like an idiot when I hear his stuff.
And how cool is his guitar, an homage to old-school cigar box axes.
He was amazing. A Giant.
When I was in high school (mid seventies, I confess) we had a popular local oldies cover band called the Bo Diddleys. Guess that was before hyper-lawyering.
My dad’s favorite. He’s a product of the fifty’s. I inherited his love of Bo Diddly’s music. I have some records(real records) of his.
Damn. He was just in town I believe. Amazing stuff! I had a to download more today upon hearing this.
Heaven has heavier rhythm now.
Not only did he make music, he made guitars. His original axes were hand-built, with his own two hands.
That’s before the fur-covered Gretsch shtuff, natch.
Sigh. Adios to another American original. I knew I’d regret not going to see him when he came through a few years ago.
Taunting the tauntable since 1998
John Scalzi, proprietor – JS
Athena Scalzi, contributor – AMS
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