Monday, June 2, 2008

Bo Diddley: Not Fade Away (1928-2008)

Otha Ellas Bates, aka Bo Diddley, has passed away at the age of 79 in Jacksonville, FL while recovering from a stroke that he suffered last year. The legendary Bo Diddley may not have written the Buddy Holly classic "Not Fade Away", but he certainly inspired it, and the impact of that beat and that song was massive on rock n' roll:
The Rolling Stones' bluesy remake of that Holly song gave them their first chart single in the United States, in 1964. The following year, another British band, the Yardbirds, had a Top 20 hit in the U.S. with their version of "I'm a Man."

Diddley was also one of the pioneers of the electric guitar, adding reverb and tremelo effects. He even rigged some of his guitars himself.

"He treats it like it was a drum, very rhythmic," E. Michael Harrington, professor of music theory and composition at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., said in 2006.

Many other artists, including the Who, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello copied aspects of Diddley's style. AP

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