Bo Diddley, a very very well known Rock and Roll icon. A pioneer of the movement, many people say. In fact, the Independent, a major UK newspaper goes even further:
“Bo Diddley, who died earlier this week, was perhaps the least celebrated of the original pillars upon which the mighty, world-changing edifice of rock’n’roll was built: less glamorous than Elvis, less flamboyant than Little Richard, less dangerous than Jerry Lee Lewis, and less poetic than Chuck Berry. But, in at least one respect, he was every bit their equal.
In pure sonic terms, Bo Diddley was perhaps rock’s single most influential architect. Small wonder he became known as The Originator: for if one were to add up just how many different songs have been constructed around Diddley’s innovative beat – part shuffle, part rumba, part cakewalk, and who knows what else besides – it would probably equal the number likewise built around Chuck Berry’s timeless trademark guitar licks.”
Some pretty high praise indeed, but from the sounds of it Diddley deserved it. He made his own guitar, and played with such aplomb that it’s hard not to be impressed. He also pioneered the “Bo Diddley beat”, which was a rather unique nearly-latin sound that was unheard of in rock circles.
I strongly advise you all to click that link up at the top of this page to read the Independent’s take on him. It’s glowing with praise and full of all kinds of little trivia. Check it out.
Also, here’s a quick youtube vid for those of you less familiar with Bo. The first video is just him ripping it up on the guitar, the second is one of his most famous tracks, “Who do you love”.