Friday, August 19, 2005

Bo Diddley @ the San Mateo County Fair

Bo Diddley

[b]Bo Diddley[/b] is one bad mother.....

Bo Diddley can only be described as amazing! At 76 years old, he's still sharp as a razor blade and puts on a tremendous show. The first time that I saw Bo Diddley perform live was in 1986 at the third annual Chicago Blues Festival. It was an amazing show. Almost 20 years later, he's as great as he ever was. The only indication that age has caught up with him is that he now performs seated. This is due to a bad disc in his back from carrying around that huge custom guitar stuffed with electronics for the past 50 years.

After 50 years in the business, he deserves to take a seat. He's been touring with the same band for a number of years now and they are super tight. It seems like they have learned to expect the unexpected and they anticipate what he is going do next.

The first thought of seeing a living legend performing at the county fair is that the sound is going to stink. That was not the case this year! According to one of the concession people, San Mateo pumped over $3M into the sound and lighting system. It was great!

The place went nuts when the band started playing the intro to Bo Diddley and he walked out on stage. The sound was loud, but as clear as Lake Tahoe. The lighting was great. It was a worthy venue for a person that helped define the sound of past 50 years of American music. For the next two hours, he played a number of his hits from the 1950's like: Bo Diddley, Crackin' Up, I'm A Man, and Hey Bo Diddley! He also mixed in some newer material including a couple of rap numbers before finishing off the evening with Roadrunner.

It was an incredible evening! To paraphrase Dr Rene Belloq in the Raider's Of The Lost Ark,

We are merely passing through history, Bo Diddley is history.

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