Monday, June 2, 2008
BO DIDDLEY, R.I.P.
Ellas Otha Bates was born in McComb, Mississippi in 1928, and he died today. Known to the world as Bo Diddley, he invented the Bo Diddley beat, which is a boogie beat that sounds like "shave and a haircut, two bits," and the foundation of such rock and roll classics as "Who Do You Love?"
I walk 47 miles of barbed wire,
Use a cobra snake for a neck tie.
Got a brand new house on the roadside,
Made out of rattlesnake hide.
I got a brand new chimney made on top,
Made out of human skulls.
Now come on darling let's take a little walk, tell me,
Who do you love
Bo Diddley appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in November of 1955, and really ticked off the old man. "I did two songs and he got mad," Bo Diddley later recalled. "Ed Sullivan said that I was one of the first colored boys to ever double-cross him. Said that I wouldn't last six months".
Lucky for the rest of us, he proved Ed Sullivan wrong. He was a big hit, and lasted seventy nine long years. On top of that, he had a tombstone hand and a graveyard mind, and from what I hear he wasn't scared of dying.