June 02, 2008

Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley where'd ya go?

R.I.P. Mr.D
Bo Diddley (December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008)

Sad news today to hear that one of the architects of Rock and Roll has passed...but 15 years ago I was delighted when I heard that Mr. Bo Diddley, the man who put the beat in Rock N Roll, was going to play a Free Concert at the Cocoa Beach Pier on Easter in 1993.

As usual I prepared a portrait in hopes of getting an autograph. This time I thought I'd do one on scratch board.

When showtime came, and I was not having much luck with getting backstage, or any promises of maybe getting to meet the man, so I headed out front to enjoy the show. Once I made my way to the front of the stage, they were welcoming a guest sax player on stage - Kenny Cohen - a multi-talented local legend and friend of mine! So I held up the pix, made some autographing gestures and when the song ended Kenny pointed to the backstage.

So I met Kenny and he gave me a pass and asked if I'd like to sit on the rear of the stage - KOOL!

Bo put on a nice long show, with nice lengthy jams and many hits (his and others), and he told some great stories. After the gig Bo came by and I shook his bear size hand and said "Hey Bo Diddley!". He was a very nice man with kinds words about my artwork as he signed it.

It's always a pleasure to meet a legend, but this time it was extra special because Bo was one of the original rockers. I'll never forget that day or Bo Diddley. Rest In Peace Brother.

Diddley Time-line from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame page:

December 30, 1928:
Ellas Bates McDaniel - a.k.a. Bo Diddley - is born in McComb, Mississippi.

March 2, 1955:
Bo Diddley recorded his monumental first single, “Bo Diddley” b/w “I’m a Man,” on Checkers Records. It tops the R&B chart for two weeks.

November 20, 1955:
Bo Diddley makes his network TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show,

January 1956:
Bo Diddley’s “Pretty Thing” becomes a Top Forty hit. One of his best-known numbers, the song will inspire a British band to name itself the Pretty Things.

October 5, 1959:
Bo Diddley enters the pop Top Forty his one and only time with “Say Man,” a novelty number in which he and maracas player Jerome Green trade good-natured insults.

July 1964:
Two Great Guitars, credited to Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, is released. It includes two lengthy guitar jams between those rock and roll legends.

October 26, 1966:
Bo Diddley releases The Originator, an album whose title reflects his rightful conviction that he was a rock and roll pioneer.

The Super Blues Band, a collaboration between Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and Little Walter, is released on Checkers Records.

January 20, 1979:
Britain’s rising punk-rock stars The Clash kick off their first U.S. tour with rock and roll pioneer Bo Diddley as their handpicked opening act.

January 21, 1987:
Bo Diddley is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the second annual induction dinner. The members of ZZ Top are his presenters.

November 25, 1987:
Bo Diddley and Ron Wood – a.k.a. the Gunslingers - finish a North American tour with a show in New York. A recording of that performance is released as Live at the Ritz.

July 1989:
Bo Diddley appears in a popular Nike commercial in which he tells baseball great Bo Jackson, “Bo, you don’t know Diddley.”

February 29, 1996:
Bo Diddley receives the Lifetime Achievement Award at the seventh annual Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards in Los Angeles.

April 1996:
Bo Diddley’s A Man Among Man, his first major-label album in many years, is released on Code Blue/Atlantic. Renowned rockers, including Keith Richard and Ron Wood, contribute to it.




Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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