Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley, where you been?
Round the world, gonna go again
The Originator got his name from a sound that was unlike anything that had come before. Music doesn’t spring from one’s head whole, in the end it’s all a derivation of what’s come before. But occasionally, what is derived is so novel, so fantastically new that it spawns a whole new course in and of itself.
Bo Diddley grabbed the blues and dragged it kicking and screaming into “Rock, Rock, Rock and roll.“ And we’re not kidding, Bo Diddley’s sound was extraordinary for it’s time and it still stands today as something completely distinctive. I can’t think of anyone else who’s ever had a beat named after them. Bo Diddley’s rhythm these days is just a known rhythm - most people my age think “I Want Candy.“ Me, I think of a square guitar and a scream of “Hey, Bo Diddley!” or maybe “I’m a Man!“ Yes, I feel 10 feet tall and mighty when that shuffle comes on.
The only actual album of Bo Diddley that I own is “A Man Amongst Men.“ Make no mistake, Bo Diddley is something special and his might and power stayed with him right up near the bitter end. I saw him live when my Lady-love bought me tickets for my birthday. It was a night with a legend that will forever stay with me as magical. Unlike the loser that brands himself a genius or the fool that puts himself above his compatriots, Bo understood that he was presenting something new, timeless, often imitated and never ever equaled. He was a Man Amongst Men, he had the showmanship when I saw him at 77, and blasted stage presence and style in a show that was special on a thousand levels.
No “Oops! Bo Diddley” that I can find on youtube, so let’s go with “Hey, Bo Diddley” and a gracious thank you for creating something special.