The Vietnam War, the drug culture, the civil rights movement and much else led to a new musical landscape. Peter Wolf, vocalist for the J. Geils Band of the 70's, who was also a major Boston disc jockey in the 60's, recalled: ''I used to play a lot of Bo Diddley. People thought I was playing archaic music, even though most of the music of the new groups being played was based on the music of Bo Diddley. Diddley speaks with some melancholy about the past. His ascendancy was rapid but brief.
His sense of his own significance and his feelings of being ignored and cheated are constant themes. The words are often bitter but the tone is sad, forlorn. Seated in his cramped studio, a guitar resting on his lap, his Rottweilers and Chihuahuas barking outside, Mr. Diddley said quietly that he and Chuck Berry were the first artists who played rock 'n' roll guitar. I love Elvis, Elvis was great, I love what he did.
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But he came three years after me. I was already breaking records at the Apollo Theater. Diddley recorded more than two dozen albums through for the Chess company. But with sales and bookings declining, he found himself in debt and worried about supporting his family. Diddley said he was ''pushed into a corner'' to sell the rights to his songs. But what has obsessed him for 25 years and makes him furious is that he ''never saw a dime'' in royalties during his heyday.
The plaint is common among early rockers. And I trusted them to do the right thing and it didn't happen. You're looking at a dude who should be a millionaire. Chess Records helped a lot of people and then destroyed them. Chess Records itself was sold and sold again.
MCA Records acquired the Chess catalog in Diddley said, ''MCA is really trying to clean up the act that these other people did. Without documents covering advances he received, sales figures and the costs of making the records, Mr. Diddley's complaint is not fully resolvable. Documents from the Chess and Checker labels no longer exist. Marshall Chess, the son of Leonard Chess, told Ms. Cohodas, author of the book about Chess Records, ''What's missing from Bo's version of events is all the gimmes. Bo was one of the biggest takers.
There was a sense of paternalism that hardly benefited the artists, many of whom grew up in poverty, had little formal education and suffered a condescension bred in racism. It was common for companies like Chess to buy its stars a Cadillac and to pay their medical, clothing, legal and rent bills in lieu of royalties, which would have yielded checks for decades to come.
Bo Diddley, Who Gave Rock His Beat, Dies at 79 - The New York Times
Nonetheless the record company owners controlled the books, and it's more than likely that musicians like Mr. Diddley were not fully paid. Still, his situation now is better than it was during the dog years of the 70's, 80's and early 90's. Back then he occasionally surfaced in rock 'n' roll revival shows.
White, called ''an overindulgent, tedious cacophony that easily qualified for the dubious distinction of Bo Diddley's worst-ever LP.
There were times onstage that he seemed bored and tired. Unlikely as it was, in , while living in Los Lunas, N. It was mostly patrolling at night. He carried a. By the early 's Mr. Diddley was back in the Gainesville area, where he once lived and owned land. They told me that lie. Diddley owns 51 acres in Hawthorne and the 76 acres in Archer where he lives. You know what I'm saying? I've paid for this dirt. I'm pretty well off on paper. And his career picked up a bit in the 80's and 90's.
There was a tour with the Clash, cameo appearances as a pawnbroker in the Eddie Murphy comedy ''Trading Places'' and in a video for George Thorogood and the Destroyers, and a recording of his song ''Who Do You Love?
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Wood of the Stones, and a commercial for Nike with the sports star Bo Jackson. Diddley released several albums through his own company, BoKay Productions, and other labels, but they failed to take off. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for best traditional blues album.
As Mr. Diddley grew older, the awards started to flow.
He was given an honorary lifetime achievement award at the Grammys in But Mr. Diddley's sense of grievance -- his disappointment in the way big money and fame eluded him -- may have skewed his vision. He still performs around the country, mostly on weekends, but he spends most of his time at his sprawling, isolated home off a dusty road laced with oaks and hanging moss. He lives with his fourth wife, Sylvia -- they've been married 11 years -- his grandson, Janson Bridge, 19, whom he reared, and his stepson, Jacob Paiz, His five grown children and their children and grandchildren often visit.
Most days he can be found writing music and playing inside his air-conditioned studio. In another studio he repairs and shapes vases, some of them customized with models of his signature square guitar. Outside, Mr. Diddley and the two young men work at repairing a row of hearses and vintage cars, a hobby and business that, like so much else in his life, is entirely self-taught.
He listens mostly to classical music, as well as country and 50's performers like the Moonglows and Nat King Cole. I just don't like it. It sends a bad message. Walking outside his studio, he squinted in the dusty, humid air. Except for diabetes, he said, he's in good shape.
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At his periodic club and concert dates, he tries to appeal to a younger crowd. They've heard that beat before from other musicians. It's familiar to them. He is the proud father of a spellbinding signature beat and a man of some bitterness who has yet to receive his full due as an inventor of rock 'n' roll. Reared in Chicago by a cousin, Gussie McDaniel, whose last name he took. Now lives near Gainesville, Fla.
Adopted the professional name Bo Diddley in the early 's. This series will periodically present profiles of the living pioneers and innovators of rock 'n' roll, and the musicians outside their ranks who have shaped its sound. Audio excerpts from Bernard Weinraub's interview with Bo Diddley, music samples and photos are online: nytimes. Log In. His First Guitar Mr. And that, of course, was how Bo Diddley got his name. Well, that's one of the stories of how Bo Diddley got his name. McDaniel, with echoes of old folk lyrics, changed the words to a playful: Bo Diddley, bought his babe a diamond ring, If that diamond ring don't shine, He gonna take it to a private eye, If that private eye can't see He'd better not take that ring from me.
The song was filled with sexual braggadocio: Now when I was a little boy, at the age of 5, I had somethin' in my pocket, Keep a lot of folks alive. Now I'm a man, Made 21, You know baby, We can have a lot of fun. I'm a man, I spell M-A-N, man. KidzSearch Safe Wikipedia for Kids. Jump to: navigation , search. Navigation menu Personal tools Log in. Namespaces Page Talk.
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Bo Diddley performing on-stage. Leonard Chess insisted it be re-written before he would record it. He wrote under the name Ellas McDaniel but also under the names of his wives at various times such as Ethel Smith. Diddley designed his distinctive, rectangular guitar himself, and was also one of the first performers to set up a home recording studio. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Sign in.
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