RIP Bo Diddley

Go on Bo Diddley! Gone.

I picked up the double album reissue of “Bo Diddley / Go Bo Diddley” a few years ago and I’ve been playing it regularly ever since. Everybody talks about his beat, but what about that strange rhythm section of maracas and tomtoms and no cymbals? Bo Diddley had the weirdness and he knew how to make it work. The NYTimes reports he was one of the first guitarists to use a stomp box to get that wobbly tremolo effect.

I’ve also been playing Bo Diddley recently because of a kind of revisionist listening. Where once I heard iconic 50’s rock and roll, now I hear echoes and flutters from Henry Flynt and Reich’s Four Organs and excise that beat from your mind (if you can) and what’s left resembles some Alvin Lucier modulation+reverb dream.

Gone Bo Diddley! Go on.