By Lorraine Kay
Anaheim, CA – The legendary rock and roller, Bo Diddley will be on stage at the House of Blues with the Debbie Hastings Band to help heat up the summer . Slated to begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, the man who ”put the rock in rock and roll”, will present many of his classic hits spanning his 50-year career.
Nicknamed the Originator, Diddley has not only been innovative in his style of music but in so many ways. He is known for his pounding and hypnotic Latin-tinged beat. Later he would become known for the “Bo Diddley Beat”, that he created and is recognizable across the planet. According to Diddley, he had long been fascinated by the rhythms that he heard coming from the sanctified churches in his community. A frustrated drummer, he tried to translate the sounds that he heard into his own style. Gradually he began to duplicate what he heard with his violin bow by rapidly flicking his plectrum across his guitar strings. “I play the guitar as if I’m playing the drums – I play drum licks on the guitar,” he explained.
Sometime later he created the first guitar with a built-in drum machine. He continues to commission guitar makers worldwide to build his custom guitars to his specifications. It just seems that there is nothing he can’t do. “I’m an ordinary fellow,” he has said. “But I have to be different in what I do…Because that’s what keeps me in the music business.”
His creativity covers every aspect of his stage shows, from his innovative use of special effects such as reverb, tremolo and distortion to make his guitars talk, mumble and roar like jet engines to his use of female guitarists and musicians, including; Lady Bo, Duchess, Cookie and, most recently, Debby Hastings and Margo Lewis, on stage. And the man himself has set his own individual style with his distinctive all-black outfit complete with hat and over-sized eagle badge.
His stage performances have influenced many other rock greats. He himself was inspired by musicians ranging from Louis Jordan to John Lee Hooker and from Nat “King” Cole to Muddy Waters, His larger than life stage presence – hopping and strutting around the stage, playing his guitars with his teeth, over his head, between his legs, and every which way set a standard for every other guitarist to come. He shaped and defined the sound and presentation of rock music for all time. Artists from Elvis Presley to George Thorogood, from The Rolling Stones to ZZ Top, from The Doors to The Clash, from Buddy Holly to Prince, and from The Everly Brothers to Run DMC, have all acknowledged the unique influences of Bo Diddley upon their styles of music:
Bo Diddley has been a well -respected artist and has even performed for presidents. He played a concert for the President and Jackie Kennedy. He also played at t the Inaugural gala in Washington D. C. for President Bush, and not controlled by politics, he performed at the Democratic National Convention for Bill Clinton. Some of his other accomplishments include being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987; having a star in the sidewalk on the Hollywood Hall of Fame in 1989; and receiving the Lifetime Achievement award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation at the Seventh Annual Pioneer Awards in 1996. And now he is playing for the good people of Antelope Valley.
For anyone who has never seen Diddley in live concert they are indeed in for a treat. Even after 50 years the man still rocks like few others. And he shows no signs of slowing down at 76 years In an exclusive interview he revealed that one new project he has in the works is recording those violin concertos he wrote many years ago. Unable to play violin he says because his fingers are now too large for the instrument, he is recreating the concertos with the use of synthesizers.
This week he will be joined by The Debby Hastings Band featuring Hastings as bandleader and on bass, Margo Lewis on keyboards, Frank Daley on guitar and Yoshi Shimada on drums. Tickets are still available to see this legend at work, and can be purchased online at www.hob.com.