Jeff Smith 11:30 a.m., Dec. 8
- Community Blog
- Daily Crasher
Hey Bo Diddley
Music legend Bo Diddley passes away.
I saw Jay Sanford had a blog on Bo Diddley. And, I did a Blurt on Bo Diddley after he played a show at the Belly Up Tavern years ago. He yelled at me backstage.
I had asked him to autograph a CD. Well, it turns out, that CD was a bootleg. I didn't know. I bought it from a record store. After he finished yelling at me, his manager confiscated the disc from me, saying she needed her lawyers to contact that record label. Bo said, "You can't take this guys CD! It's not his fault. He wanted me to autograph it." I said, "Hey man, that's cool. Take it. You can sign my ticket stub." He thanked me. I thanked him.
There was a guy backstage with a bunch of guitars he wanted signed for some charity. That made my friend Doug a bit bummed.
He met Diddley in L.A. and asked him to sign a guitar. Diddley said people just sell them on eBay, so he was less reluctant to sign anymore. Doug told him he's a teacher, and he sometimes brings the guitar in, and tells his students about the various legends that have signed it (Odetta, Chuck Berry, etc.) Diddley agreed to sign, saying "Enjoy that. It's the last guitar I ever sign."
That was years ago. And I'm sure Diddley signed many more. Even ones that looked square, like his. That's because his first homemade guitar was made out of a cigar box. Or so the story goes.
That show at the Belly Up Tavern was great. This cat was in his 70s, and sat down during many of the songs. But, to hear him playing I'm a Man, Who Do You Love? and all those great tunes.
More people probably know that song done by George Thorogood. Or, the cover of it by The Doors.
They might also know his famous beat, stolen (err, "borrowed"), by Buddy Holly/Rolling Stones in "Not Fade Away."
Or Willie and the Hand Jive, and I Want Candy.
I remember when I worked in radio, I was given 3 box sets from a record label. I think it was Chess, but I'm not positive.
One was Chuck Berry. I loved it.
The Diddley set I didn't care for as much. Many of the songs sounded the same. I traded it to a used CD store for a few CDs.
I thought a lot of the tracks on it were interesting. I figured, he was saying his name in songs, singing in 3rd person, way before rappers did. He also had a song trading insults with someone about their ugly girlfriends. Also, well before rappers.
I now wish I had that box set back.