Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Go, Bo, Go!

Bo Diddley's heart is thumping out of time, but the Bo Diddley beat will never die.

Every rock band eventually does a song with a Bo Diddley beat. One of my favorites is "Bo Diddley Is Jesus" by the Jesus and Mary Chain. (They also did the bestest-ever version of "Who Do You Love?") It's a good title for a song because it implicitly acknowledges that everyone rips off Bo sooner or later, and because all of Bo's albums were called Bo Diddley Is A Cowboy, Bo Diddley Is A Gunslinger, Bo Diddley Is A Surfer, Bo Diddley Is An Astronaut, A Pastry Chef, A Graphic Designer, Whatever.

I once saw an amazing clip in one of those history of rock and roll documentaries of Bo on live TV in the 1950s, unbelievably raw and pounding. I couldn't find it on YouTube, but this clip from 1964 is pretty good:

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