Bo Diddley died yesterday at the age of 79. He was a pioneer, a trail-blazer, a founding father of rock n roll. Here’s the NY Times obit:
My specific memory of Bo Diddley was watching the movie Let the Good Times Roll repeatedly when it played the theater in the small town of Tioga, North Dakota. The movie is of a rock n roll revival show at Madison Square Garden in 1972 featuring a baker’s dozen of acts from the 50s including The Coasters, Chubby Checker, Fats Domino, the Shirelles, Bo Diddley, Little Richard and Chuck Berry.
The last three steal the show of course. My budding guitarist friends and I went to it with the idea of seeing if Chuck Berry could deliver the goods. We expected to see Chuck burn, but Little Richard was a revelation and Bo, he took our breath away. That someone from that era could have such a filthy guitar tone was a shock. Then came Chuck’s encore when he brings Bo back to the stage and they proceed to lay down every trick in the book – duck walks, playing behind the head, etc. And just playing the living hell out of those guitars. The movie has not been available for years, was never released on DVD. But somehow a clip of Bo tearing down the house made it to YouTube. R.I.P Bo, you never made a fortune, you never got the recognition but you will never be forgotten.