Earlier today I emailed a friend and asked him if he wanted to get together and build some cigar box guitars.
Then, just now, I found out Bo Diddley had passed on.
Besides the coincidence, I felt this one in my stomach. I've seen Bo perform three or four times, and he always put on a great show. When compared to others of his generation (I'm looking at you Mr. Berry) who had a tendency in later years to phone it in, Bo remained vital, entertaining, and hardworking. I saw him perform with Ron Wood once, and Wood was clearly there more for the partying than the music. Diddley shoved him off stage after a couple songs and gave us the set we'd paid for.
Somewhere there may be a recording of yours truly at 17, singing Who Do You Love with a friend's band on a live radio concert thingy. My friend said he didn't have the Bo Diddley rhythms in his veins, implication being that I did, but I think it was more like I was the only other kid in our high school who'd heard of him. Though for awhile there I was in danger of wearing out the grooves on my copy of Chess Records' His Greatest Sides collection. My parents, whose bedroom was directly below mine, can attest to that.
Diddley is a figure that has loomed large in my pantheon for most of my life. I'm sad that I won't see him perform again.
So, from Grizzly Dad to Diddley Daddy:
Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits. Rest in Peace.