Rock and Roll has lost yet another pioneer. At 79, Ellas Otha Bates McDaniel – better known as Bo Diddley – passed away while surrounded by family and loved ones at his Archer, FL home on Monday, June 2. He is survived by 4 children, 15 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren.
A true innovator in rock history, he not only helped bring the music to prominence with his sound – later to be known as ‘The Bo Diddley Beat’ – he also brought his own style to the music as well with his trademark rectangular guitars.
His catalog of hits includes “Bo Diddley,” “Road Runner,” “Who Do You Love?,” “I’m A Man,” “Mona,” “Before You Accuse Me,” “Say Man,” “The Story of Bo Diddley” and many others.
The Bo Diddley beat has appeared across the rock spectrum from Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” and Johnny Otis’ “Willie and the Hand Jive,” to The Strangeloves’ “I Want Candy,” Elvis Costello’s “Love For Tender” and “Lover’s Walk,” The Clash’s “Rudie Can’t Fail,” U2’s “Desire” and George Micheal’s “Faith.”
He always held some animosity over never being financially rewarded for his contribution to rock music, but in 2005 he seemed to be accepting his place. “Well, it’s no different from anything else, I guess. I started sumthin’. I just happened to be the first one,” he told the British magazine Uncut. “But I never thought it would turn into what it did. Somebody had to be first, and it happened to be me.” Rock and Roll has lost a true original and though he may be gone, the Bo Diddley beat will surely stroll on.http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Music/06/02/diddley.obit/index.html