Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Show some goddamn respect, kids!!! This wouldn't be a story about a legendary Black musician if there weren't details about the industry doin' dirt. Bye-bye, Bo Diddley.
from the LA Times:
He circulated various explanations for the name over the years, but by most accounts, neighborhood kids started calling him "bow diddley" -- slang for "bully." The name also recalled the diddley bow, an African single-string guitar that was seminal to blues music.
By 1954 he was married and a fixture on the local music circuit when he decided to cut a two-song demo of his original songs "Uncle John" and "I'm a Man." Although he usually adhered to the restrained blues style of his hero, Muddy Waters, Diddley based his recordings on the exultant, frenetic music he had been exposed to in the Pentecostal church as a child.The Bo Diddley sound
Diddley's panache and swaggering stage presence influenced musicians on both sides of the Atlantic, among them Jagger, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix. Diddley's early use of amplified electric-guitar effects -- including reverb, echo and distortion -- also played an important part in the evolution of the sound of rock music when they were taken to further extremes by Hendrix, the Doors and others.
Blues singer-songwriter Duke Robillard, who covered "Who Do You Love" on an album he released last year, recalls being impressed when the two performed on a bill together 11 years ago. He noted Diddley's mad-scientist approach to tweaking his sound with a customized guitar.
"His guitar had effects and delay built into it so when he'd play a line it would repeat in time with the music," Robillard said last year. "That's pretty futuristic. You wouldn't think of Bo as a guy who could do that electronically. But he had more to him than his one beat."
Until the end, Diddley remained embittered about both his musical legacy and being exploited by the music industry -- he received no royalties from his classic songs until 1989 -- becoming a vocal champion of fair treatment for veteran blues and R&B musicians.
"Have I been recognized? No, no, no," Diddley told the New York Times in 2003. "Not like I should have been. Have I been ripped off? Have I seen royalty checks? You bet I've been ripped off."
10:02 AM PDT, June 2, 2008
Here's a list of songs that have the Bo Diddley beat:
The Who, "Magic Bus"
George Michael, "Faith"
Bruce Springsteen, "She's the One"
David Bowie, "Panic in Detroit"
Duane Eddy, "Cannonball"
Buddy Holly/Rolling Stones/Patti Smith (and the Dead!), "Not Fade Away"
Not Fade Away - The Rolling Stones
Johnny Otis, "Wilie and the Hand Jive"
The Stooges, "1969"
Shirley & Company, "Shame Shame Shame"
The Strangeloves/Bow Wow Wow, "I Want Candy"
The Blues Rockers, "Callin' All Cows"
Steppenwolf, "Magic Carpet Ride"
The Guess Who, "American Woman"
The Grateful Dead, "Man Smart, Woman Smarter"
Talking Heads, "Ruby Dear"
Guns N' Roses, "Mr. Brownstone"
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Every Thursday in the LA Times there's a feature called "My Favorite Weekend," consisting of some jackass famous or about-to-be famous actor/musician/restauranteur/club owner (you get the idea; it's never a dude named Jose from North Hollywood) with what they like to do on an ideal weekend. There are frequent mentions of amazing, life-altering bougie/yuppy things like breakfast spots, independent movie theaters, the beach, wine, music shows at Largo. It's stupid, but what can you do. Anyway, the "musician" (??) Donovan Leitch (who I only know as being Ione Skye's brother, which I only know and care about due to Ione Skye once being married to Adrock) was apparently deemed relevant enough in 2008 to be chosen for last week's edition. He says "cool hang," and it's all downhill from there:
"NATURE BOY: On Saturday morning I'd head to the art gallery at Pomona College. One of my favorite exhibits was there recently, James Turrell's "Skyscapes." He manipulates celestial beams and the color of the sky within a controlled environment. It's far-out stuff. Or maybe we'd try Descanso Gardens.
HIP TRIPS I'd grab lunch at Dusty's, a cool hang (?? ugh) in Silver Lake. I like the décor, and the produce is organic. Later I might grab a coffee at Intelligentsia, and next door is Lovecraft Bio-Fuels, where you can get your turbo-diesel Mercedes converted to run on bio-diesel.
ECHO PARKING There are great scrap yards around Echo Park, where they have doors and windows and wrought-iron candelabra. It's fun to wander around. And there's a shop called Han Cholo where they have cool jewelry and Hispanic-customized Nikes. Nice stuff."
Ohh Lawd. The use of the word "Hispanic." Describing something as "Hispanic-customized"; even if he had said "Chicano-customized," the ridiculous factor would not be lessened. You, Donovan Leitch, are an idiot.