Listen to CADILLAC by Bo Diddley.
From an obituary in the New Mexico Independent, discussing an interview Bo Diddley had given a few years back:
He said he'd had trouble collecting royalties on his Chess Records classics like "Who Do You Love" and "Diddley Wah Diddley", and even though he was happier with MCA Records, the money was "still not up to par."
"I'm talking about my livelihood.
The day of the interview, Diddley said he had discovered a "collections" type album featuring a Bo Diddley tune, and he and MCA Records hadn't been consulted.
"You know, if I went out and started making Cadillacs without the Cadillac company's OK, I'd be in jail before the sun came up." Diddley said the lack of decent royalties kept his children from going to college.
But several of those children followed in his footsteps as musicians and the music took Diddley all over the world and to some unlikely venues. One of the more unusual inclusions in his press packet from 1987 is a copy of the letter Diddley received from former Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater, thanking the rocker for performing and allowing Atwater to join him at the Celebration for Young Americans event during George H.W. Bush's inauguration. "You proved that you are the originator!" Atwater gushed in a handwritten note below his signature.
"That was beautiful. America is a beautiful country," Diddley said of the event.
Photo: Street signs (3).