Remembering Bo Diddley: posted by Phillip Moore
One of my favorite annual events is the Austin Record Convention, one of the largest Record Collectors & Memorabilia exhibit in the world. 1993 would prove very special in my quest to grow my personal memorabilia pieces and buy key vinyl records and posters for the Records Store I’d managed for over a decade. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jrIK7YB0tE
Meeting Rock & Roll pioneer Bo Diddley was not on my mind when I woke up that morning in 1993. One of the most amazing thing that ever happened to me, and little did I know I would have the meeting of my life. As I was making my way around the huge event looking, and gazing at all sorts of memorabilia .I locked in on a man over to the side signing posters,books & album jackets , He had a familiar face , as I got closer, the identifying “horn-rim” glasses. It was Bo Diddley himself. Chatting with the legend, We talked about Chess Records,The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco and Bill Graham.He had nothing but good things to say about Graham.
Besides getting his personal autograph, I was there to buy records and other items for the record store I managed everyday. while recalling a time he played at the San Francisco landmark Concert venue, I laid down a poster from that era and he quickly remembered..like a light bulb snapping on in a dark room. Looking over the classic poster he said”I still can’t read my name on this.”
” Bo Diddley is the man!!” he will always have my respect.whether its for being an innovator in Rhythm& Blues music,the custom guitar, or, for standing up to Ed Sullivan to not dilute his music performance by playing a song by Ernie Ford, “16 Tons” . Diddley recorded on Chess Records from 1955 to 1976.
Oddly enough, in the late 80s, Bo recorded a live album with Ron Wood of the “Rolling Stones” and even toured with Ronnie Wood.
With his sound influencing several generations of musical stars, Bo was also a ground-breaker with women musicians in his regular band. they weren’t just eye-candy, these ladies could play hard. The Duchess,Lady Bo ,Cookie and Debbie Hastings,all were alumni of the Do Diddley band over the five decades plus he performed.
Bo was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Sadly after a long battle with bad health, Bo Diddley passed in 2008.
It was reported his last words were, “I am gonna go to heaven” . Let us never forget this man and every thing he did for music and in life.