IVP - Strangely Dim - Where Have You Gone, Bo Diddley?

June 2, 2008

Where Have You Gone, Bo Diddley?

Rock legend Bo Diddley has died. You can read of his passing here.

My high-school band, Little Queenie, covered Bo Diddley's song "Who Do You Love?" which is a quintessential example of his signature style: "Shave and a Haircut" rhythm; aggressive, raunchy guitar; embittered, defiant lyrics:

I got a tombstone hand and a graveyard mind,
I lived long enough and I ain't scared of dying.

That lyric is emblematic of a particular strain of the blues, one that leans into the emotional navigation of a difficult life. Diddley came of age musically at a time when recording artists were routinely exploited by their labels, and so his career is as littered with bitter reflections on the industry as it is with great music: "I am owed. I've never got paid. . . . A dude with a pencil is worse than a cat with a machine gun."

Speaking as a dude with a pencil, I offer my regrets for the bitterness that Bo Diddley carried with him. I hope for a day when we can all put our pain to rest, when our best art will be created not out of anger but out of joy.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at June 2, 2008 1:04 PM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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