Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley


Go for your gun

Listen – Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley (PLAY THIS LOUD)- MP3″

Greetings all.

I have to start this emergency/late post by thanking those of you who took the time to meet the outstretched hand of Funky16Corners with your extremely generous contributions to the 2008 Pledge Drive.

I’m happy to say that the lights at our luxurious headquarters will remain on for another year as the server bills have been paid (and I won’t be spending any of the funds on an endless string of shrimp cocktails). I have to admit that I do not embark upon these fund raisers lightly, always wondering if this is the year that things dry up. Fortunately – for my fragile ego anyway – things did not dry up, and I was once again pleasantly surprised that some of you think highly enough of this enterprise to dip into your wallets (especially in this tough year where some of you are forced to choose between saltines and gasoline).

I sent thank yous to everyone that contributed, though my crappy free e-mail account has been acting up and some of them may not have gone through (I’m in the process of changing to a somewhat less crappy free e-mail account).

So thank you one and all.

That said, I must take a moment to mark the passing of one of the true elemental greats of modern music, the mighty, mighty Bo Diddley.

Though I certainly was aware of Bo at an early age, it wasn’t until my teens, when I became fixated on George Thorogood’s version of ‘Who Do You Love’* (on eight track tape no less) that I turned a corner of sorts and started making an effort to get deep inside Bo Diddley (this being a few years before Thorogood gave up the mantle of roots rock savant and started whoring for watery beer).

It was later, in the sweaty depths of my garage band years, while I was bashing drums and wailing with the Phantom Five that we made ‘Who Do You Love’ part of a medley with Johnny Kidd & the Pirates’ ‘Shakin’ All Over’. There was something about singing those dark, sinister lyrics that transported me each and every time, conjuring in my mind images of the plaid jacketed, oblong guitarred, coke bottle eyeglassed hoodoo shaman prowling the stage, dripping with sweat and becoming one with the distorted tremolo of his axe.

If it is possible for you to listen to his first hit, self-titled signature tune and epochal warning shot across the bow of a dangerously listing culture, without feeling the vibration throughout your central nervous system, compelling you to rise from your seat and shake like a snake handler, eyes rolling back into your head, then you sir (or madam) are some sort of higher being, existing above the rest of us mere mortals.

Just try it. Pull down those ones and zeros and take the test.

You will fail for one reason and one reason alone.

Bo Diddley was a gunslinger.

So we approach the end. When Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee are all gone it’ll all be over. The great force of the universe may as well open up a black hole next door and suck us all into the ninth dimension.

With any luck, when Bo saw the light, he also heard the sound of maracas, and thought to himself, ‘It’s time to bring it on home’

‘Bring it to Jerome.’

And down the alley the icewagon flew.


*Followed soon by a love affair with the Quicksilver Messenger Service version of ‘Mona’

PS See you on Monday

PSS Head over to Iron Leg for some cool garage psyche.

PSS Stop by Paperback Rider too…

8 Responses to “Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley”

  1. b Says:

    Wonderful tribute to Bo Diddley.
    Bless his soul.

  2. b Says:

    “iiiiiiiiii want caaaaandy!”
    That’s so rad.
    Thanks for sharing, Larry.

  3. b Says:

    Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy

  4. The Pyrex Scholar Says:

    great post man

  5. chuck Says:

    Looks like Bo Diddley can also lay claim to one of the coolest record covers to ever grace a bin.

  6. Tom Says:

    Yes. Heard this dropped today in Hackney, London, still rocks the dance with the best of them. Brilliant tune, fitting tribute, irreplaceable artist!

  7. funky16corners Says:

    No kidding,man. There’s another album (I can’t recall the title) where Bo is motoring down the street on a Vespa (Godfather of Mod??)

  8. Tom G Says:

    He had soooo many songs. And his lyrics? My god, “Cobra snake as a necktie..”?!? Poetry. Dude gets on Ed Sullivan, reluctantly rehearses “Sixteen Tons” as instructed (because it was a hit, but not his hit) then when the show goes live, plays “Bo Diddley” instead! THAT is rock n’ roll swagger, and Bo was rock n’ roll swagger incarnate.

    Right you are about who’s left of the first generation rockers (Little Richard, Chuck Berry and the Killer). I’m quite certain when those three are no longer with us, the earth will be thrown off it’s axis. And how surprising would it be to see Jerry Lee, in some sort of Keith Richards-type mortality defiance, outlast them all and really be the “Last Man Standing”.

    It’ll also be interesting to see if the thinning numbers of the rock n’ roll pioneers will bring on a new recognition of their lesser know contemporaries. Sun, Chess and Specialty all had their unrecognized, but no less talented, B-squad.

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