His influence is everywhere, but his personal career could have used a boost.Some car or jeans company needs to put a track of his in a commercial so a lot of young dudes and dudettes can go, "Whoa — that's rockin'!
I first heard him on a Rolling Stones album, on their cover of "Mona." It was such a great song; I looked at the credits and it said "Ellas Mc Daniel," and I thought, "Who the hell is that?
He played really simple things but with incredible authority.
People listen to Bo Diddley recordings and think, "Oh, you can just go , and you got a Bo Diddley beat." But it isn't that easy.
What seems to pass for guitar more and more now is some wimp with a fuzz box. Hendrix had both: He had the hands, and he had the fuzz box. You can be damn well sure that Jack White has studied Bo's records.
I've had a little personal experience with Bo.
I worked with him in Vegas once, and I kept running into him on airplanes in the Eighties and Nineties — always in first class, always alone, always with a roll bag, his police hat and his sheriff's badge.I think Bo and Chuck Berry have both suffered the trivialization of people who are covered too much.I didn't have a lot of vocal range, and I didn't know a lot of chords on the guitar.So I was looking for a way to write, and there he was, writing very complete, very memorable songs without a lot of fuss. He never bothered to change the chord, for one thing — which is very heavy-metal! And, of course, there's the attitude, a chin-up, chest-out sort of thing.He was a bull; he had a bullish quality to everything he did and everything he played.Vocally, he reminds me of gutbucket Delta blues: Muddy Waters, but brought to town, rocked up. It's just a huge voice, and he's got a big, deep shout. First of all, Bo's hands were about a foot long from the wrist to the tip of the finger. Bo plays his instrument, and the way the rhythm clicks is unique. The Stones covered Bo Diddley, and the Yardbirds did "I'm a Man," and the Pretty Things did his song "Pretty Thing." My band in high school, the Iguanas, did a few of his songs, including "Road Runner," and you can hear a bit of him in the Stooges.