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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The most influential riff in rock music history
Posted by Jill | 7:35 AM
Bo Diddley was right when he told the New York Times in 2003, “I opened the door for a lot of people, and they just ran through and left me holding the knob.” It must have been terrible to watch so many other musicians take your signature beat and make millions off of it. Yes, musicians credited him as one of the greats, but being admired by a bunch of white guys didn't pay the rent.

And now he's gone, but like Edgar Allen Poe's Tell-Tale Heart, his beat is forever:

...covers like this one from 1980 from John Cipollina, late of Quicksilver Messenger Service (the acid-laced original can be heard here):

...and the original (and still the best):

Rest in peace, big guy. You may think everyone forgot. But we didn't.


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Blogger Citizen Carrie said...
My favorite cover in your post is the Rolling Stones' "Fade Away". It has the feel of Bo Diddley's appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. And Mick Jagger even has that Jerome Green maracas thing going on!

Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...
hate to break it to you, but son house and pine top smith were doing that lick at the turn of the last century. listen to son house's "death letter" (and it will change your thinking about deep purple and a lot of other "innovative" bands)

bo diddley got the lick from the "hambone" singers on the streets of the south. pine top and son house recorded it. it stayed because it's so infectious.

Blogger fallenmonk said...
Well Son House and Pine Top got the beat from their ancestors as it more than likely came with the slaves from Africa. Whatever, it is still called the Diddlely beat. Great collection of videos. The beat goes on!