Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Bo Diddley is dead. R.I.P.
I am genuinely sad that one of my favourite musicians, Bo Diddley died today. A great guitarist with a fantastic stage presence. I was lucky enough to see him a couple of times when he came to Australia and he was a great inspiration to lots of young men with not quite enough talent to bang out three chords (when one would do). And after all, any musician whose band included a full-time maraca player (the late, great Jerome Green) - an inspiration to any half-decent singer who needed some kind of prop on stage - can't be all bad.
The usual eulogies will tell you of the influence he had on Buddy Holly, the Rolling Stones, The Clash, U2 and so forth. But sadly, there is a black mark that blots the otherwise spotless escutcheon of Bo Diddley, namely Craig McLachlan and his 'band' Check 1-2 who stumbled their way through a play-in-a-day version of Bo Diddley's 'Mona'
But on the other hand, to counterpoint the ridiculous with the sublime, Bo Diddley also influenced arguably the greatest English R&B star of the 1960s, Bo Dudley. Below is a clip of the reclusive singer performing at the London jazz club 'La Maison Sophisticee' circa 1966. Enjoy.