Thursday, April 20, 2017
I don't want to cause no fuss (too much, Magic Bus)
"I booked a flight with United for tonight -- they said that the red-eye was full, but there's still seats on the black-eye"...
Yesterday, contemplating Neil Sedaka's "Bad Blood" (with Elton John singing back-up and harmony), I thought, 'What makes this song so affecting, so great?' ... and then I read someplace, someone said the song "has the Bo Diddley beat."
"Now I get it!" - or, as Charlie Brown would say,
The Bo Diddley stutter-stepping, forthing-and-backing, walking-forty-seven-miles-of-barbed-wire...maraca-wielding da-da-da-da-DAH-da ...
was unfamiliar in my listening inventory when "Bad Blood" was out -- I hadn't ever heard of Bo Diddley yet. But I knew I really liked that song with the
"how you let a woman like that
treat you like -- small change!"
As they sing that, the power and punch, the rock and the roll of the line seems to increase, for the listener, with each syllable....
When Bo Diddley died in 2008, the N.Y. Times published an article by Ben Ratliff, "Bo Diddley: The Beat That Will Go On."
Ratliff writes that Bo Diddley "has to be understood through his beat....Popular musicians of many kinds have heard bomp-ba-domp-ba-domp, ba-domp-domp as swing or primitivism, as the graceful three-beat, two-beat sequence of Afro-Cuban clave or as garage-rock tom-tom stomp. All kinds of rock 'n' roll and rhythm-and-blues musicians have used it, and will continue to...."
Then he lists some --
Buddy Holly, "Not Fade Away"
Elvis Presley "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame"
The Who, "Magic Bus"
Bruce Springsteen, "She's the One," "Ain't Got You"
The Strangeloves (and later Bow Wow Wow) "I Want Candy"
The Smiths, "How Soon Is Now?"
The Stooges, "1969"
George Michael, "Faith"
The Electric Prunes, "Get Me to the World on Time"
Neil Sedaka, "Bad Blood"
[etc. -- he lists more songs -- the article can be read online.]
Yesterday as I thought about "Bad Blood" being top of charts in 1975, I started thinking, What was going on in 1975? What were we doing?
Well, First Lady Betty Ford was -- dancing. We cannot see who she's dancing with, but I thought it was a nice picture.