Bo Diddley Goes Guitar Shopping

The neck’s a bit small, but I can get a job in Blue Oyster Cult with this one….


Maybe it’ll sound better in color?

Eureka! This is the one!
I’ve posted on Bo Diddley several times last year (here, here and here) as well as directed you all to the great privately pressed Bo Diddley Live at a Frathouse in 1959 LP at WFMU Rock’n’Soul Ichiban blog (if you missed it, get it here) but when Santa left these photos under the Christmas tree I couldn’t resist posting them.

Also, I couldn’t resist posting my ten favorite Bo Diddley covers:
*Ronnie Hawkins & the HawksWho Do You Love b/w Bo Diddley (Roulette) Yes, that’s Robbie Robertson on guitar, a huge hit in Windsor, Ontario where it was played constantly on CKLW where it was heard in Detroit and was a seminal influence on the young James Williamson and Wayne Kramer.
*Dick DaleSurfin’ Drums (Deltone) American royalty: The King of the Surf Guitar, and a great guy, and still a great guitar player. He speaks of himself in the third person.
*Rolling Stones- Crackin’ Up (Live BBC version) I know it’s not as good as their version of Mona (I Need You Baby) on their first LP (UK) or Now (U.S.) or Please Go Home (Between The Buttons, UK, Flowers, U.S.) but it’s a lot rarer, and long out of print. Dig Brian and Bill’s off key harmonies. No wonder they took the mikes away from them soon after.
*Pretty Things- Road Runner (Live BBC version) Captured at their peak. What can I say? Tortured and beautiful.
*MedallionsBlowin’ Through Yokohama pt. 1 and pt. 2 (Munro) A real mystery disc, from Saginaw, Michigan.
*Link Wray & his Raymen- Bo Diddley (Swan) The evil genius!
*Captain Beefheart & his Magic BandDiddy Wah Diddy (A&M) Produced by David Gates, of Bread fame!
*Mac Rebbenack (Dr. John) (Rex)- Storm Warning Mac was a helluva guitar player until he got one of his fingers shot off, he’s still pretty great, and plays this one at the Ponderosa Stomp every year. He was booed by Bon Jovi fans at Jazz Fest last year.
*Mickey & SylviaDearest (Vik) Written by Bo (who also wrote their big hit Love Is Strange) who also plays rhythm guitar on it, here’s an alternate take. This was Bob Quine’s all time favorite guitar solo (courtesy of Mickey Baker).
*Freddie CannonBuzz Buzz A Diddle It (Swan) Not strictly a Bo cover, but Kenny Paulson’s guitar is savage, anybody got any info on him?. Freddie, if you want me to pull this, just e-mail me directly through this site and I’ll yank it.
Plus, I gotta add this one:
*CrystalsI Love My Baby (Aladdin) Not the Phil Spector group, but a Teen Queens inspired L.A. high school group issued in ’57. It’s not a Bo cover, but he’s named checked (along with American fascist Henry Ford) and it seems to be about Bo, and I love the tune.

HELP THE PEOPLE OF HAITI! To make an emergency donation click here. These people have been through so much, from the slave revolt in the late 18th century to years of Papa and Baby Doc to the four hurricanes of 2007, and now a 7.0 earthquake. Please help.

While I’m on the subject of Haiti, the best books I’ve ever read on the Haitian slave revolt (the only successful slave revolt in history) are Madison Smart Bell’s trilogy: All Soul’s Rising (Penguin, 1995), Master Of The Cross Roads (Pantheon, 2000) and The Stone The Builder Refused (Pantheon, 2004). He followed them up with the definitive biography of Toussaint Louverture, the black Napoleon (Pantheon, 2007). For the best look at what went wrong in Haiti during the Aristide years, Michael Deibert’s Notes From The Last Testament (Seven Stories Press, 2007) is essential reading. For an interesting account of Iggy Pop and Haiti, see Paul Trynka’s Open Up and Bleed (Broadway Books, 2008) pages 265-269. Iggy keeps a studio in Miami’s little Haiti neighborhood to this day.

Addendum: As suggested by Wes Smith’s comment I’m adding this tune by the Saturday Nights who backed Freddie Cannon on Buzz Buzz A Diddle It– Texas Tommy (Swan).

131 thoughts on “Bo Diddley Goes Guitar Shopping”

  1. Pretty insightful post. Never thought that it was this simple after all. I had spent a good deal of my time looking for someone to explain this subject clearly and you’re the only one that ever did that.

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