INTERVIEW BY STEVE OLSON
INTRODUCTION BY STEVE OLSON
BO knows, EVERYTHING, About BO… It’s in the groove, the beat, the drum, the chops, the square… what can one say? Bo is the man…“I JUST STARTED PLAYING SOMETHING AND IT TURNED INTO WHAT THEY STARTED TO CALL “ROCK N’ ROLL.”
Hey, Bo Diddley.
Yeah, Steve. How are you tonight?
I’m great. How did you ever get into rock n roll?
I just started playing something and it turned into what they started to call ‘rock n roll’.
How did you get into the whole square guitar?
I designed it. I actually own the patent to it.
You were like, “I need my own custom guitar” and you just went for it?
You told me that you’re getting a massage right now?
I’m jealous. I need to get a massage, too. Who would you say your influences are? Louie Jordan?
Did you ever get to see Louie Jordan?
Yeah, when I was a kid.
Would you say that Louie was one of the first rappers?
I would say, kind of. He did what we call rap stigmified – playing the dozens with each other, you know?
How did you come up with your rhythms for your music?
I don’t know. I just created the rhythm.
It just came out?
Yeah, it just had to come out.
Can you tell me some of your influences besides Louie Jordan?
Well, I didn’t take anything from Louie Jordan. i just liked what he was doing.
What cats influenced you when you were a kid?
None. I don’t sound like nobody else. I didn’t take after nobody. I just did my own thing.
You’re Bo Diddley and that’s all there is to it. What was it like when you first started to get popular? Did you ever think you would get this big?
I didn’t think i would get this far at all.
You’re still performing right?
How many gigs do you play a year?
Quite a few. I don’t know how many, but quite a few.
How is your acting career?
You were born in Mississippi?
Did you ever go up to Chicago with the Chess?
Not with the Chess scene. Don’t even mention those people to me.
Right, they took everything.
Well, I don’t sit too high for them… (laughing)
I don’t blame you, then. Do you write or play everyday?
Just when you have to perform?
There’s Bo Diddley and there’s Chuck Berry and you both have your own styles.
When you hear other people trying to pull off the Bo Diddley beat and do their own thing with it, does that ever piss you off?
Kind of, because my music is very uniquely put together. When i hear people destroy it, it makes me hot under the cloth.
Right, but there’s only one person who can do the Bo Diddley beat and that’s you.
BO DIDDLEY – R.I.P.