03 June 2008

Bo Diddley, was a Man

That's spelled M-A-N.
Bo Diddley, born Ellas Bates, 12/30/1928 - 06/02/2008

Talk about a prolific writer and publisher of music as well as someone who shaped the sound of rock and roll.

I can't even write out how many rockers were influenced, but given the Rolling Stones and the Who are in the list, does one really need to go through the list?

I had the privilege of meeting Bo back in 1991 when a club called the Blue Note in Oak Forest opened up. At the time our agency was booking all of the acts there and he got booked in for one special night. I got to go into the backstage area and shake his hand.

If I could have had 30 minutes with the man, I have no idea what the hell I'd ask him. Would I have asked him about the start of Chess Records or how his guitar riffs ended up on so many songs from Buddy Holly to Roxette?

Although he will be missed, it's important to point out that the Chicago Blues Fest starts this Thursday in Grant Park. I imagine there will be plenty of tributes and covers of his songs, especially on Sunday when B.B. King takes the stage. How fitting that it's the first time in 20 years that he'll be at the Fest.

Before I close, I had my brushes with greatness in the Blues world when I was in 6th Grade. I played basketball for Fairview Grade School and we had a game against Westmont Grade School. They had a kid named Joe Morganfield who played. He was one of many of Muddy Waters' kids. So at 11 years old, I found out about the blues. Especially when Joe kicked my ass up and down the court!!

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