Why Bo Diddley Matters

Rest in peace, Mr. Ellas Bates. You know you have left a mark on music when you have a rock and roll beat that bears your name. Ask any guitar player or drummer what the “Bo Diddley Beat” is, and they’ll tell you this:

chunk-a-chunk-a-chunk, a-chunk-chunk

And Bo made it sound something like this:

Bo Diddley also wrote one of THE classic blues songs — tell ’em how you tell ’em “I’m A Man”!

And just who do you love?

The Strangeloves ganked old Bo’s beat for to tell the world they wanted candy.

Daltrey, Townsend, Entwistle, and Moon knew some Bo Diddley when they rode the “Magic Bus.”

Bono and the boys used the beat to prove their “Desire.”

Now that’s a fucking musical legacy right there, from his own wonderful catalog (which he never got enough money for, like all the black rock ‘n roll innovators) to those who listened to him and made his signature beat part of the musical lexicon.