A Name to Call: Bo Diddley

As you may already know, the amazing wonder who invented one of the only names that rightfully suits a bluesman and a rib shack and who handcrafted each of his magic making guitars himself, Bo Diddley, has passed.  He suffered from heart failure only months after having a stroke.

“I opened the door for a lot of people, and they just ran through and left me holding the knob,” he told The New York Times in 2003.

Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley (born December 30, 1928)

Bo Diddley broke new ground in rock and roll’s formative years with his unique guitar work, indelible African rhythms, inventive songwriting, and larger-than-life persona. He will forever be known for popularizing one of the foundational rhythms of rock and roll: the Bo Diddley beat. He employed it in his namesake song, “Bo Diddley,” as well as other primal rockers like “Mona.” This African-based 4/4 rhythm pattern (which goes bomp-bomp-bomp bomp-bomp) was picked up from Diddley by other artists and has been a distinctive and recurring element in rock and roll through the decades. It can be heard on Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” (later covered by the Rolling Stones), Johnny Otis’s “Willie and the Hand Jive,” the Strangeloves’ “I Want Candy,” the Who’s “Magic Bus” and Bruce Springsteen’s “She’s the One,” to name just several songs.

Read the entire bio at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame website.  He was finally inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

He was a hero to those who had learned from him, including the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. A generation later, he became a model of originality to punk or post-punk bands like the Clash and the Fall.

In 1979 Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon of the Clash asked that Mr. Diddley open for them on the band’s first American tour. “I can’t look at him without my mouth falling open,” Mr. Strummer, star-struck, said during the tour. (Source: NY Times)

~ by Anayah on June 7, 2008.

One Response to “A Name to Call: Bo Diddley”

  1. Just found your blog. Good posts and sorry I’m late!

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