Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Play On, Bo Diddley- RIP

Bo Diddley is dead; been gone from us for a year to the day.

I'm not feeling too good myself, either.

Actually, I'm fine. After all, it's already June, the weather is still (STILL!) crappy, and my health insurance bill is paid up to current.

Government Motors should be so lucky.

Bo never did get a government bailout. In fact, he really never made much money at all. Like so many of the old blues and rock and roll guys, Bo Diddley was a great musician, but not so great as a business person.

The biz will show no mercy, especially if you are a giant.

But he played on. Because that's what he did best. Even if it wasn't under the best of circumstances. I can remember the times that he would come through Chicago, play at Buddy Guy's Legends (with Howard and the White Boys as his backing band- since he made relatively low money, he didn't, or wouldn't, support a touring band.) Now don't get me wrong. Buddy's is a great, great, great club to play. Personally, it's one of my faves. But it's still just a club. And Bo was, well, Bo. It was our good fortune to see him in such a small and intimate place, but he deserved bigger and better digs.

And he was a giant, too. I mean HUGE. Without him (and Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon), the rest of us, who play generally "popular" music, would be out of work. His "Bo Diddley" beat was and is as infectious as swine flu (not that we call it that anymore.) It works with so many different songs, and can be played on any instrument, not just the thundering jungle drums.

Really, that groove is a musical style in itself.

Bomp, bompa bomp, a bomp bomp. Bomp, bompa bomp, a bomp bomp.

"Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley, have you heard..."

Bomp, bompa bomp, a bomp bomp. Bomp, bompa bomp, a bomp bomp.

"Mama's gonna buy you..."

It just doesn't quit. The rhythm is moving and grooving and driving, and powerful. If your body isn't shaking and your big toe isn't coming out of your boot, then, surely, there is something wrong with your sensibilities.

Too bad for you.

RIP Bo Diddley.

1 comment:

  1. Anyone else out there have any Bo Diddley tales to tell?