Archive for Bo Diddley

The Most Bad-Ass Riff

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , on September 28, 2012 by 30daysout

Muddy Waters at the Houston Juneteenth Blues Fest, 1977.

Rock and roll has some killer riffs, mostly played on the electric guitar, and there is no riff more bad-ass than the da-dum-da-DUM riff from songs like Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man.”

Bo had some killer riffs in some of his songs, but the original source seems to be “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man,” by Muddy Waters from 1954. Written by Willie Dixon, it seems to be the first use of this motif that has shown up in blues and rock music ever since. Bo Diddley, a Chess Records label mate of Muddy Waters, cut his “I’m A Man” in 1955 and Muddy actually answered that record with his own “Mannish Boy.”

Remember Muddy singing “Mannish Boy” in The Band/Martin Scorsese film The Last Waltz? That was actually Muddy’s own remake, modeled after his version on the 1977 album Hard Again. The Rolling Stones copped that same song and riff the same year, for their album Love You Live.

Many others have used the same riff, either covering the blues classics of Bo and Muddy, or doing their own originals. “Bad To The Bone” by George Thorogood to the very recent “Early Roman Kings” by Bob Dylan have used this riff.

It’s lasted this long, and shows no sign of ever going away. That is because it’s bad-ass.

MP3: “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man” by Muddy Waters

MP3: “I’m A Man” by Bo Diddley

MP3: “Mannish Boy” (live) by the Rolling Stones

MP3: “Bad To The Bone” by George Thorogood and the Destroyers

MP3: “A Night With the Jersey Devil” by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

YouTube: “Early Roman Kings” by Bob Dylan

Yow! The Best Rock and Roll Screams

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2012 by 30daysout

Roger Daltrey of The Who

Our greatest rockers are people who apparently never used their “indoor voice.” Why should they? They were future rockers! Anyhow, the other day I was thinking that the one ingredient basic to any good rock and roll song – besides a guitar solo, of course – is a blood-curdling scream.

It could be an expression of rage and defiance, like Roger Daltrey’s classic scream at the end of “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” or it can be a cathartic release of pain and frustration, like John Lennon in “Well Well Well.” Screams can be ominous and threatening, like Axl Rose in “Welcome To The Jungle” or it can be just plain weird and inexplicable, like Jim Morrison in “When The Music’s Over.”

Screams can be old and trailblazing: Bo Diddley and Little Richard loved to scream, although Richard’s were more like a shriek and Bo’s were more like a holler. They can be punk (The Stooges), they can be metal (Iron Maiden), they can be funny (Tenacious D) or they can be very soulful (Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett). As Eddie Murphy once said about James Brown’s famous scream, “He wrote that.”

So let’s celebrate the weekend with a dozen cool rockin’ screams. Turn it up!

MP3: “Welcome To The Jungle” (live) by Guns N’ Roses

MP3: “Shout Bamalama” by Eddie Hinton

MP3: “Run Diddley Daddy” by Bo Diddley

MP3: “Get Up Offa That Thing” by James Brown

MP3: “TV Eye” by The Stooges

MP3: “Piece Of My Heart (live) by Big Brother and the Holding Company

MP3: “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard

MP3: “I Can’t Turn You Loose” by Edgar Winter’s White Trash

MP3: “Hold On To Your Hiney” by Wilson Pickett

MP3: “Well Well Well” by John Lennon

MP3: “When The Music’s Over” (live) by The Doors

MP3: “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who

YouTube: Greatest Rock Screams (thanks to GuyFaux2007)

Video Du Jour: Bo Diddley

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , on March 7, 2012 by 30daysout

Why Bo Diddley, you may ask? Why not? I may reply. Any time’s as good as another for Bo Diddley, and this rockin’ version of “Road Runner” is from 1965 and the TV show “Shindig.” They used to have stuff like this on TV all the time.

More Monday Blues

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on July 25, 2011 by 30daysout

Sonny Boy Williamson II

In most places it is still probably way too hot to feel good about gettin’ up and goin’ to work on a Monday. So let’s blow some blues today.

MP3: “Fattening Frogs For Snakes” by Sonny Boy Williamson

MP3: “Tell Me Mama” by Little Walter

MP3: “Boom Boom” by John Lee Hooker

MP3: “Midnight Special” by Odetta

MP3: “Who Do You Love” by Bo Diddley

MP3: “Evil (Is Going On)” by Howlin’ Wolf

MP3: “Trust In Me” by Etta James

MP3: “I Ain’t Gonna Do It No More” by Jimmie Vaughan

MP3: “Floating Bridge” by Gregg Allman

MP3: “Whipping Boy Blues” (Swamp mix) by Whitesnake

Bo Diddley, R.I.P.

Posted in News with tags on June 2, 2008 by 30daysout

Rock and roll pioneer Bo Diddley has died at the age of 79 in Florida.  He recorded for the Chess label in Chicago and so many of his songs are rock standards it’s tough to pick out one or two.  “Bo Diddley,” his first hit, introduced the jerky rhythm (shave-and-a-haircut-two-bits) that would mark many of his songs.  The Bo Diddley Beat appears in many songs by other artists including Bruce Springsteen (“She’s The One”), U2 (“Desire”) and the Rolling Stones (“Not Fade Away”).  Many of his songs were recorded by other artists also, including Creedence Clearwater Revival (“Before You Accuse Me”) and George Thorogood (“Who Do You Love?”). 

Associated Press news story on Bo Diddley’s death

MP3: “Bring It To Jerome”

MP3: “Run Diddley Daddy”

MP3: “Say Man”

MP3: “Bo Diddley”

MP3: “Who Do You Love”

MP3: “I’m A Man”