In a chain of emails between friends, I had the pleasure of being reminded of a moment of greatness in music history that I hadn't given much thought to in a long while. Lucky me, and now lucky you. I watched it half a dozen times last night, three more just pulling it back up to write this. It's that good.
Of particular note: the tuxedos; the back up girls, particularly the palms up move at the beginning of this jam; the "slide" and the "quakin' legs" at about 2:20; the black girls in the balcony at 3:10. Sadly, I also noticed that all the black audience members appear to be in the balcony. A blasphemy, really. Those girls should have been front row center. Let's not forget that 1964 wasn't all nice clothes and cocktails.
Sure, it may be a generally accepted fact that Bo Diddley is nothing short of a god in the world of rock n' roll, but when's the last time you thought about that? I've had a life long love of music, and seeing this performance nearly brought me to tears. The guy belts it out like he doesn't even need a mic, the music comes at you hard, like a steam roller, with nothing but some small amps and a drum kit, no high tech gear, just the bare minimum equipment to act as a vehicle for what these guys and girls spill out from their hearts and bellies. Best of all, it's only one chord. Proof positive that guts and raw talent will get you further than needless complexity. A good rule for life, I think.
Since this is a clothing blog, allow me to point out that this also serves as a further argument for the fact that any man looks good in a suit that fits. Bo ain't a small guy, but his jacket hugs his frame just so, he shows a good half inch of shirt cuff, and how about those pants? Narrow cut and high water, but not tight. Who says big dudes need to wear clothes that fit like drapes? People who don't get it, that's who. The bass player is a skinny guy, who looks equally good in a matching outfit, because his suit fits him equally well. I've said it a million times but it bears repeating: find a good tailor and get to know him. It's hard to tell, but I bet those jackets were tartan with black satin faced lapels. Bo was known for that.
Goddammit, Bo Diddley:
Once again for good measure:
Dr. Jive, honestly.
I played the drums in a lot of bands in the old days, and the styles of music my projects have touched on has varied a bit. But seeing these videos makes me realize that every band I was in, no matter what we played, every time we performed, this is what I imagined, or at least hoped, we were getting at.