Yesterday I was sad to read about the passing of an icon of rock and roll. Bo Diddley passed away in his home in Florida yesterday at the age of 79.
Bo was one of the Godfathers of Rock and Roll. He created the sound of bluesy rock and roll. With his unique home made square cigar box guitar originally rigged with junkyard clockworks and car parts to create his unique distorted tremolo sound. Watch and listen to this video.
Sadly Diddley like many early rock and roll innovators was not compensated for his products.
“Elvis was not first; I was the first son of a gun out here, me and Chuck Berry. And I’m very sick of the lie,” Mr. Diddley said in a 2005 interview with Rolling Stone magazine. “You know, we are over that black-and-white crap, and that was all the reason Elvis got the appreciation that he did. I’m the dude that he copied, and I’m not even mentioned. . . . I’ve been out here for 50 years, man, and I haven’t ever seen a royalty check.”
Its no wonder so many people covered his songs. Bo influenced Buddy Holly to sing “Not Fade Away.” Diddley was honored by The Rolling Stones when they covered “Not Fade Away.” George Thorogood paid tribute recording my favorite Diddley tune “Who Do You Love.” Bo appears in the video. I love his moves and how many have copied his sound and style.
Among the other artists to co-opt Mr. Diddley’s famous rhythm are Johnny Otis (1958’s “Willie and the Hand Jive”), the Strangeloves (1965’s “I Want Candy”), the Who (1968’s “Magic Bus”), the Stooges (1969’s “1969”), Springsteen (1975’s “She’s the One”), and U2 (1988’s “Desire”). –Boston Globe
My favorite was the Bo Knows Commercial from 1989
You will be missed Mr. Diddley.