Bo Diddley 1928-2008

Legendary blues / r&b / rock & roll guitarist Bo Diddley died from heart failure today (June 2nd) aged 79. He was responsible for the famous Diddley riff (that kind of goes chung chung da-chung-chung) that has been overused by a billion boring blues-rock bands ever since, though this was hardly his fault. His eccentricities included playing a rectangular bodied Gretsch guitar, and always having a female member in his band, ‘The Duchess’, who was usually, but not always, Norma-Jean Wofford. (And I’m not implying that it’s eccentric to have a woman in your band – just that to have several women going under the same name at various points is eccentric. It was very unusual in fifties r&b circles to see a woman on stage who wasn’t the singer, though.)

Another blues legend exits stage left. There’s only really Chuck Berry, BB King and Fats left of the old guard now.

New York Times obituary

“Mona” performed at a rock & roll festival in London in 1972. Class – the last two minutes have an almost drone-rock minimalism about them. (footage is a little blocky).


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