Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"If you ain't got no money; ain't nobody calls you honey."

Those are the words of the now late, great legendary singer and performer, Bo Didley.
He was one of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll whose distinctive "shave and a haircut, two bits" rhythm and innovative guitar effects inspired legions of other musicians, he died Monday after months of ill health. He was 79.

Bo Didley was also remembered for his homemade square guitar, dark glasses and black hat, and he was an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and received a lifetime achievement award in 1999 at the Grammy Awards. In recent years he also played for the elder President Bush and President Clinton.

I saw him perform twice. The first time was at a club in a strip mall, right along Clairemont Mesa Blvd, in San Diego, California, called The Bacchanal (no longer in existence). I was probably too young at the time to be in a club that was serving alcohol, but there I was, up in front completely amazed at the way Mr. Bo Didley could play the guitar. I think I must have been in High School; late 1970’s. Years later, I was lucky enough to see him again in New York City. And I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the club. I remember his performance though and once again, he was amazing.

He had a way about him; a stage presence that not everyone is blessed with. He was a well greased, machine; flowing with syncronisity and high energy; hitting all your senses. He was effortlessly cool too; possessed that “fuck it, I don’t really care kind of attitude.” You could tell he just wanted to play his music and boy, could he.


Heff said...

That was a pisser. I posted about that as well.

Neve Black said...

Thank you for your comment.

Yes. I feel a sense of loss knowing that he's gone.