The story of Bo Diddley

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    The story of Bo Diddley

    Many moons ago, in my vaguely recalled youth, I had an interesting conversation that shed light on what kind of music fan I was vs. the average guy who enjoys music. I was talking with some guy in a bar and the subject of Bo Diddley came up. And this guy said, something to the effect of it being a great song by Bob Seger. Now, I didn't know that Bob Seger had an album of covers called Smokin' O.P.'s.   And apparently this guy just figured Bob Seger wrote everything he sang. When I told him that this song was written by a man who performed under the name Bo Diddley he was absolutely dumbfounded.

    Which brings me to the real topic of this post. Without the knowledge of the history of music, we do tend to attribute our favorite artists with maybe a bit more originality than they actually have.

    For example, my favorite performer is Howlin' Wolf. But he would have been the first to admit the great influence Charlie Patton had on him. (I did delve into listening to Charlie Patton, but the recording quality was so primitive it just didn't have the same impact as the Wolf for me). The blues is one form of music that is very obvious in it's handing down, borrowing, and using of past performers repertoires, and each new performer tries to put his personal stamp on what is basically endless variations of the same song.

    Now in rock, I am always finding performers borrowing bits and pieces of past performers to varying degrees. I have a few examples of my own, and would lke to know others you may have caught.

    "Bad Moon Rising" by CCR is practically a direct lift of Scotty Moore's guitar work on the Presley Sun Sessions, particularly the song "You're Right, I'm Left, She's Gone".  Check out the similarities:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n_m3q7XYz4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BmEGm-mraE

    Another example that really caught my ear was the opening riff from The Velvet Underground's "There She Goes Again". It is pretty much a duplication of the opening riff of Marin Gaye's
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZH82l_ie9M
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwvHfwDfapI
    Or as Wikipedia suggests, it may have been The Stones cover version that they duplicated.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmkU3yg4lK0&feature=related

    A couple other examples come from Elvis Costello's Armed Forcesalbum. "Oliver's Army" borrows the "Dancing Queen" piano riff while "Two Little Hitlers" grabs the riff from David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JGYKCvWnQc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFrGuyw1V8s&ob=av2e

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYIk_zOX-rU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYIk_zOX-rU
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: The story of Bo Diddley

    Someone once said that the reason symphony orchestras have so many instruments is so it's easier to hide the bits the composer lifted from other composers, and only the most well-trained ear can spot them.


    "And so it goes, and so it goes, and so it goes and so it goes, but where it's going, noone knows...." (Nick Lowe)
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: The story of Bo Diddley

    DD,
    There's always going to be a diff between a "rip off" vs. being "influenced by" and perhaps that "d" word, derivative.  It's a fine line, I suppose, at times.  

    To me, the more your wealth of knowledge in any topic, the more you see, the more you hear, the more you enjoy.  You understand there may be nothing new under the sun, who knows, but you see the connections.  And that feels very rewarding.   I love looking at a work of art or hearing a piece of music and realizing it rings a bell that's connected to another work of art or another piece of music.  

    Your short thesis is like a music history lesson of sorts.  It's all true and it's all good.  And thanks, b/c I certainly did not know some of the facts you relayed.  
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: The story of Bo Diddley

    I have another example that some may find a stretch, but I swear that the guitar riff in The Clash's guitar break toward the end of "Jail Guitar Doors." is very similar to the riff in "Archie's Party". Seriously. ;)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2j0DZ8ZTcs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooQ5ylQyivo&playnext=1&list=PLF1DD420FB2EE5961

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from gerbs. Show gerbs's posts

    Re: The story of Bo Diddley

    In Response to Re: The story of Bo Diddley:
    [QUOTE]Someone once said that the reason symphony orchestras have so many instruments is so it's easier to hide the bits the composer lifted from other composers, and only the most well-trained ear can spot them.
    Posted by MattyScornD[/QUOTE]

    Can definitely find many instances of this.  Of course, if your name is John Williams, you make no attempt whatsoever to hide your "influences".  Maybe the most well known example is the Star Wars "Imperial March" theme - try comparing that to "Mars" from The Planets by Gustav Holst.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: The story of Bo Diddley

    The Kinks have the distinction of actually ripping themselves off( if that's possible).

    Play 'All Day And All Of The Night' and the later song 'Destroyer' back to back and tell me you didn't hear practically the same song.

    Beach Boys ripped off Chuck Berry riffs often. 

    Still to this day,I fail to hear the blatant rip off George Harrison pulled with 'My Sweet Lord' and the 'He's So Fine' song...similar but not to the point of a lawsuit.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from jesseyeric. Show jesseyeric's posts

    Re: The story of Bo Diddley

    FYI - It is called the Bo Didley beat and it is absolutely integral in the growing process of Rock. IMO, Bo is one of the foundations of RnR.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: The story of Bo Diddley

    In Response to Re: The story of Bo Diddley:
    [QUOTE]FYI - It is called the Bo Didley beat and it is absolutely integral in the growing process of Rock. IMO, Bo is one of the foundations of RnR.
    Posted by jesseyeric[/QUOTE]

    Absolutely agree with you Jess. I think sometimes Bo gets overlooked a bit by rock fans but his imprint is all over the music to this day. The Bo Diddley beat keeps popping up in songs throughout the history of rock. Bo came up with his own unique guitar designs and was very experimental in the sounds he came up with for the electric guitar. His hard driving rhythm influenced many rock guitarists.   
     

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