Bo Diddley died today. The very polite report on msn.com did not mention the other thing Bo was famous for. Not only did he create a guitar rhythm that has fueled generations of rockers, most notably The Rolling Stones, he had a way of playing that guitar that inspired the King. When Bo played, he shook his hips -- provocatively. It is said that Col. Tom Parker saw Bo perform and remarked, "If I could get a white boy to play like that, I'd make a million dollars." Parker found his white boy in the form of a very good-looking and uniquely talented kid from Tupelo, Mississippi. Elvis.
Chuck Berry had his way of playing, too, the famous Duck Walk, and Little Richard was as much performance as he was the music.
They called Bo Diddley The Black Gladiator.
Rest in Peace, Black Gladiator. Along with Chuck and Little Richard, you invented Rock and Roll.
Monday, June 2, 2008