Interviews

Published on June 2nd, 1994 | by Gerry Galipault

0

Bo Knows Which Way the Wind Blows

Bo Diddley has seen it all: 40 years of unpaid royalties, penny-pinching to buy a 75-acre dream home in Central Florida, induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nike commercials with Bo Jackson.

But he has never seen anything quite like young America’s reaction to the suicide of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain.

“That was the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” Diddley said from his home in Archer, just outside Gainesville, “and everybody’s trying to make him into a hero. He was a fool.

“He was responsible for his own actions, and I tell kids all the time, don’t think that was a big deal and try to follow in his footsteps because he’s not around to tell you, ‘Come on. It’s nice where I’m at.’ Children that are following him should think about what he did. Do not hurt yourself.”

In his many travels, Diddley volunteers his time to warn children about drugs and sex. The influential R&B/rock guitarist-vocalist said he does so because “there are so many evil people put here to test you and find out if they can turn your mind.”

He has resisted his own temptations by realizing early on “you don’t jump out in front of a freight train because you know what it’s going to do.”

Born Otha Ellas Bates McDaniel on Dec. 30, 1928, in McComb, Miss., Diddley moved to Chicago at age 7 and studied the violin before discovering the guitar, which his mother called “the devil’s music.”

He flirted with a boxing career and trained at a local gym, where he was given the nickname (“bo diddley” is a one-stringed African guitar). He performed on street corners and eventually moved indoors, playing at the famed 708 Club. That’s where he was spotted by Leonard Chess, who signed him to his Checker label.

His first record was a two-sided No. 1 R&B hit, “Bo Diddley/I’m a Man,” both of which had the trademark Bo Diddley back beat and call-and-response pattern. It has been copied and imitated by so many artists over the past five decades that Diddley feels cheated.

“I was at the beginning of this stuff, me and Chuck Berry,” he said. “That tells you right there that I’m not trying to take the limelight from anybody else. Chuck Berry and I were the first ones raising hell, then came everybody else. We were the first two to be called rock ‘n’ roll.”

Diddley said he is “fixing to open courthouse doors” to get his due credit. In the meantime, he continues to tour extensively and has a new album on Triple X Records due in the fall.

Tags: ,


About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑
  • BEST OF THE WEB

     

    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    March 5, 2021 » Kings of Leon, Chevelle, Zara Larsson, A Day to Remember, Neil Young, Chase Atlantic, Gabrielle, Teenage Fanclub, Pat Metheny, Elizabeth and the Catapult, Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird, Visionist, etc.

    March 12, 2021 » Selena Gomez, Nick Jonas, Rob Zombie, Valerie June, Andra Day, Saga, The Paper Kites, Butch Walker, Strawbs, Lake Street Dive, Jane Monheit, Israel Nash, Witch Camp, Pino Palladino and Blake Mills, James Levy, etc.

    March 19, 2021 » Lana Del Rey, Ringo Starr, Loretta Lynn, Harry Connick Jr., Sting, Ryan Adams, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Jon Batiste, Middle Kids, The Snuts, Serj Tankian, Chad VanGaalen, etc.

    March 26, 2021 » Carrie Underwood, Evanescence, First Aid Kit, AJR, Suzi Quatro, FITZ, Ben Howard, Tower of Power, Death From Above 1979, Tune-Yards, Sara Watkins, The Antlers, SG Lewis, etc.

    More New Releases » April 2 and Beyond: Mark Bryan, Richie Furay, Leslie Jordan, Flock of Dimes, Dry Cleaning, Haunted Shed, La Femme, Sturgill Simpson, Bryce Dessner with the Australian String Quartet, Al Stewart, Taylor Swift, Cheap Trick, Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi, Merry Clayton, Fleetwood Mac, Parker Millsap, Eric Church, Greta Van Fleet, The Offspring, Escape the Fate, Tom Jones, Peter Frampton, Dinosaur Jr., Sir Sly, Dumpstaphunk, Marianne Faithfull, Mick Fleetwood & Friends, Birdy, The Dropkick Murphys, Shovels & Rope, Teenage Fanclub, The Coral, Royal Blood, Van Morrison, New Order, Nancy Wilson, Travis Tritt, St. Vincent, Del Amitri, Paul Weller, The Chills, Juliana Hatfield, David Gray, Gary Numan, John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band, Mat Kearney, Ashley McBryde, Shannon McNally, Crowded House, James, Tristen, Wolf Alice, AFI, Joshua Radin, Ora The Molecule, Maggie Rose, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2021 but yet to be scheduled




    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: Pauseandplay.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love Pauseandplay.com? We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.




  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook

  • On Twitter