Monday, August 11, 2008


Listen to I'VE HAD IT HARD by Bo Diddley.

It's been a tough weekend for celebrity deaths, but I want to go back a few news cycles and reflect on a legend who passed not long ago, but whose death is no longer in the headlines: Bo Diddley.

If I was writing a novel or a term paper, I might go back and erase and revise that sentence (and this one), but since I'm not, let me restate what I want to do: Since Bo Diddley died, there have been a lot of interesting reflections and surveys on and about his music. I read a lot of them, and heard a lot of great music I've never heard before. So for the next couple of weeks, I'd like to share a little bit of what I've heard, and learned.

First up is I've Had It Hard. I haven't seen anyone blog about this one, actually. This is one of my own personal favorites. It's from the early 1970s, long after Bo was at the center of the music scene, and probably past his creative peak. I've Had It Hard certainly doesn't have any... progressive aspects, but that's the thing I love most about the song. Bo Diddley was so comfortable, so in control of his persona, that he could completely inhabit these songs, completely drive the song by force of personality (I feel like I've used that phrase before, but it still fits here), so much so that he used the sound of his own name as the main hook, and it completely works.

Photo: Street signs (1).


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