Monday, June 02, 2008

Bo Diddley, 1928-2008

I've sometimes stated the (admittedly oversimplified) opinion that rock n roll has 3 fathers: Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Bo Diddley. We lost one of them today.

It usually drives me crazy when performer is retroactively labeled "Punk Rawk!" by folks whose idea of subversion is having tattoos and/or a weird haircut. (Johnny Cash is the most egregious example but I'm sure been applied to everyone from James Dean to Scrooge McDuck.) Thus, I'm only going to point out that while most of Diddley's obits have pointed out the enduring influence of the "Bo Diddley beat" (bomp! da-bomp! bomp! bomp! bomp!) few have noted that Diddley's understanding of the power of the "rhythm as lead" approach to electric guitar might be his greatest gift to the world.

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