Monday, June 2, 2008

Bo Diddley, 1928-2008. R.I.P.

I was saddened to learn of the passing of rock n' roll pioneer Bo Diddley today. I wasn't aware that he had suffered a stroke several months ago while on tour. He died of heart failure. Born Ellis McDaniel, Didley lived until the age of 79.

I had the pleasure of seeing him perform in Ottawa back in October 1993. He played a gig at a club on Elgin Street called the New Live Penguin, a venue that was known generally for blues acts. I remember that it was October 1993 because a) the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox were playing in the ALCS b) there was a federal election going on at the time and c) I was accompanied that evening by a beautiful woman named Estelle. Alas, she did not accompany me after that. Oh well, at least I saw Bo Diddley play.

To fans of my generation he was known for his cameos in movies like Trading Places and This Is Spinal Tap. But his career got a real boost when he appeared the Nike campaign Bo Knows promoting Bo Jackson. After all these great athletes said, "Bo knows,", Diddley says, "Bo don't know Diddley."

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