The Blues trail in Mississippi

All over Mississippi there are signs and monuments to the old Blues singers. We followed the trail around. It took us to all manner of places we might not ever have found.

McComb – the plaque to Bo Diddley and the street corner he used to busk on.

Hazlehurst – the monument to Robert Johnson and the place where Elmore James used to work in the electronics shop.

The USA Blues Trail – Bo Diddley and McComb

Bo Diddley used to busk on the corner in McComb. One day a car drew up, a guy leaned out and said ‘Jump in, man. I’m gonna make you a star.’

Bo Diddley was a genius – a macho, struttin’ bluesman who took that shuffle beat and made it his own. He was instrumental in Rock ‘n’ Roll and every R&B band from the UK British Boom played Bo Diddley songs – From the Stones and Yardbirds to the Animals and Prettythings.

Bo Diddley rules.

I met him in 1981 when he played in Hull. We went backstage to get albums signed and I had my picture taken with him. What a moment. He was a very friendly guy.

So when we did our Blues Trail in Mississippi and Lousianna I had to visit McComb and stand on that corner where Bo Diddley had played!

Quite a thrill.

Bo Diddley – Greatest Lover in the World – lyrics of a modest man describing his sexual abilities.

Bo Diddley – Greatest Lover in the World – lyrics of a modest man describing his sexual abilities.

boddiley2 BoDiddley

Bo Diddley was a bit of a maverick sensation. He epitomised the swagger and attitude of the hipster black dude. At a time when there was such inequality and racial hatred it was great to see Bo (short for Bad Boy) standing there with such panache and style.

He came straight out of McComb Mississippi fully formed. An ex boxer with all the attitude you could want. He was second to no one.

Some say he was a trifle self-centred. I don’t know how they could say that? His first song Bo Diddley and then Hey Bo Diddley were kind of focussed on one topic, I suppose. And then maybe Bo’s a Lumberjack and Bo’s a Gunfighter continued the theme and 500% more Man was a slight exaggeration.

When I saw him play he was certainly one of the greatest performers I’ve ever seen!

opher & Bo Diddley 1980 (1)

I don’t think this song was really sexist or misogynistic. It was just Bo boasting and having fun.

Who knows? Perhaps he was the greatest lover in the world?

I’m the Greatest Lover in the World – by Bo Diddley

I’m the greatest lover in the world
I was born just to love you, young girls
I’m the greatest lover ever seen
Hey, try me and see what I mean
I’m the first, the last, the best and the most
The women love me from coast to coast

The greatest lover ever made
I can love ya forty nights and forty days
I’m the first lover in the land
The call me a lovin’ man
I’m the first, the last, the best and the most
The women love me from coast to coast

From New York City, out to L.A.
The women think about me both night and day
From Canada to Mexico
I’m the one the women love the most

The greatest lover in the world
Born just to love you young girl
Know you can’t judge a book by it’s cover
Whoa, don’t you know I’m a nat’ral born lover?
I’m the first, the last, the best and the most
The women love me from coast to coast

< sax and instrumental>

From New York City, out to L.A.
The women think about me both night and day
Canada down to Mexico
I’m the one that the women love most

I’m the greatest lover in the world
I was born just to love these young girls
No, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover
I’m a nat’ral born lover
I’m the first, the last, the best and the most
The women love me from coast to coast

Yeah, yeah!
FADES-
I’m a lover
Oh, yeah
I’m a lover.

Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley – Two Rock ‘n’ Roll innovators.

When I was fourteen I was into Little Richard, Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran. I loved the energy of good Rock ‘n’ Roll. Then came the Beatles.

After the raw energy of fifties Rock ‘n’ Roll the early sixties Pop-Rock of the Teen Idols and surviving Rockers, with their soft-rock/pop, didn’t really cut it for me. But that Beatles first album was right back to the energy of that Rock ‘n’ Roll era – except this was ours. I was fourteen and blown away. I had my own music.

Of course, at school, our group of musos were discussing little else. The Beatles had blown the doors down. But one of the older lads did not agree. Rather than wanting to get his hands on that first Beatles album he professed to wanting to get the latest Chuck Berry offering – Chuck Berry On Stage (a fake live album recorded in the studio with dubbed MC and audience). That made an impression on me. The guy had taste and I respected him. I hadn’t really heard any Chuck Berry up until then so I went out and bought it. I didn’t know it was a fake live album and I wouldn’t have cared anyway – it was brilliant.

That set me off collecting Chuck Berry stuff. I loved that guitar and I adored the stories he told with those lyrics. My favourite album was More Chuck Berry – it was a fabulous album with tracks like – Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller, Anthony Boy, Beautiful Delilah, Reelin’ and Rockin’, Little Queenie, Brown Eyed Handsome Man and the amazing Too Much Monkey Business. I played it to death and still have my battered original.

It was great to have the original when the Beatles, Stones, Yardbirds and every other Beat group were all doing their covers of Chuck. I loved what the British bands did with that stuff but the originals were just as good.

My love of Chuck got me into Bo Diddley. Where as Chuck had these fabulous innovative riffs Bo had this amazing infectious jungle beat that blew me away. He was larger than life – brash, self-assured even arrogant with those loud suits, bragging lyrics and amazing guitars.

I remember that album – Bo’s Big 16 – which had 16 of his hits. All of them were gems.

It was no wonder that Chuck and Bo (along with Jimmy Reed) became the staple of every British Beat group going.

 

This is a track from 1956 that really demonstrates just how innovative Bo was. The guitar, the vocals, the sounds – the whole concept. I love this track to bits.

5 Superb Bo Diddley Tracks.

I have always loved Bo right from when I first heard him in the early sixties. He was brilliant live.

  1. Who Do You Love? – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w9Eii9ZFsQ
  2. She’s Fine She’s Mine – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRVPB2ytwu8
  3. You Can’t Judge a Book by looking at its cover – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAEHj0dk8QU
  4. Roadrunner – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap8JtQZG73M
  5. Cops and Robbers – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C805c5BxURw

In the UK:https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/card?preview=inline&linkCode=kpd&ref_=k4w_oembed_iElmdLlS8tkXQL&asin=B00TQ1E9ZG&tag=kpembed-20

In the USA: https://www.amazon.com/Search-Captain-Beefheart-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00O4CLKYU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1497866057&sr=1-1&keywords=opher+goodwin+in+search+of

Bo Diddley Quotes – A man who set music alight!

opher-bo-diddley-1980-1Bo Diddley was one of the greatest pioneers of Rock ‘n’ Roll. His beat was copied and his songs covered by every band under the sun. He was one of the greatest performers and showmen – just a quiet, shy, retiring character.

Don’t let your mouth write a check that your tail can’t cash.

Good advice for anyone!

I opened the door for a lot of people, and they just ran through and left me holding the knob.

Everyone played his stuff. Every R&B group had a batch of Bo’s songs in their repertoire. I think he got a lot of kudos out of it. I’m not sure he got the royalties he deserved. Everyone was ripped off back then – especially if you happened to be black. He deserves all the credit he can get. The man was brilliant.

You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover.

So true – listen to what people have to say. How they look is immaterial.

If you would like one of my books check out Amazon:

Bo Diddley – Greatest Lover in the World – lyrics of a modest man describing his sexual abilities.

boddiley2 BoDiddley

Bo Diddley was a bit of a maverick sensation. He epitomised the swagger and attitude of the hipster black dude. At a time when there was such inequality and racial hatred it was great to see Bo (short for Bad Boy) standing there with such panache and style.

He came straight out of McComb Mississippi fully formed. An ex boxer with all the attitude you could want. He was second to no one.

Some say he was a trifle self-centred. I don’t know how they could say that? His first song Bo Diddley and then Hey Bo Diddley were kind of focussed on one topic, I suppose. And then maybe Bo’s a Lumberjack and Bo’s a Gunfighter continued the theme and 500% more Man was a slight exaggeration.

When I saw him play he was certainly one of the greatest performers I’ve ever seen!

opher & Bo Diddley 1980 (1)

I don’t think this song was really sexist or misogynistic. It was just Bo boasting and having fun.

Who knows? Perhaps he was the greatest lover in the world?

I’m the Greatest Lover in the World – by Bo Diddley

I’m the greatest lover in the world
I was born just to love you, young girls
I’m the greatest lover ever seen
Hey, try me and see what I mean
I’m the first, the last, the best and the most
The women love me from coast to coast

The greatest lover ever made
I can love ya forty nights and forty days
I’m the first lover in the land
The call me a lovin’ man
I’m the first, the last, the best and the most
The women love me from coast to coast

From New York City, out to L.A.
The women think about me both night and day
From Canada to Mexico
I’m the one the women love the most

The greatest lover in the world
Born just to love you young girl
Know you can’t judge a book by it’s cover
Whoa, don’t you know I’m a nat’ral born lover?
I’m the first, the last, the best and the most
The women love me from coast to coast

< sax and instrumental>

From New York City, out to L.A.
The women think about me both night and day
Canada down to Mexico
I’m the one that the women love most

I’m the greatest lover in the world
I was born just to love these young girls
No, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover
I’m a nat’ral born lover
I’m the first, the last, the best and the most
The women love me from coast to coast

Yeah, yeah!
FADES-
I’m a lover
Oh, yeah
I’m a lover.

Bo Diddley – Opher’s World pays tribute to a genius.

 

Bo Diddley & Oph 2

The red plaid checked jacket, oblong box guitar, splayed legs, cocky attitude, guitar held defiantly, surly look and piercing eyes. Bo was not someone to mess with. Straight out of McComb Mississippi to Chicago and onto the charts, Bo Diddley was arrogant, assertive, brash and egocentric. He was an ex-boxer, a street busker and could hold his own. His first single, aptly titled Bo Diddley, set the tone. There was the distinctive beat and rhythm that was going to become part of the fabric of Rock Music coupled with the bragging lyrics. This was black R&B aimed at the white teenage market and hit the right time smack in the face. Ellas Otha Bates, AKA Bo Diddley had arrived. He was accepted into the broad lexicon of Rock ‘n’ Roll. He and Chuck, straight out of Chess, set the pace for black blues-based Rock ‘n’ Roll and inspired a generation of British Beat groups.

Bo is black shorthand for ‘bad boy’. Bo was mean but he had a sense of humour and you were never totally sure how much he meant and how much was real. His attitude came straight off the streets. This was no black boy to be put in his place. Behind the fun and flamboyant style was seriousness lurking. When he sang ‘Who do you love?’ or ‘I’m the greatest lover in the world’ there was an air of belief. He probably did decorate his house with human skulls and go around town with a rattle-snake whip.

On those first appearances Bo was to be seen with his maraca man Jerome Green and the gorgeous Duchess on bass complete with slinky outfits, burning sexuality and equal defiance. It must have scared the hell out of all those racist rednecks. It certainly had an effect on me. It filled me with adrenaline and set my heart beating fast. Bo was a monster.

There were endless variations on that basic shuffle beat. Bo’s guitars got more outrageous with furry ones making an appearance and more distortion and gadgetry. He was not looking for a clean sound. He courted that raw, dirty sound. His tuning was different. The guitar sounded original. Nobody else could quite capture it.

Bo told stories about himself and cops and robbers. He used black jive and laughed a lot. He was the greatest lumberjack, gunslinger and lover on the planet. There was nothing he couldn’t do. He even could cope with aliens. Through the fifties and into the sixties he road-ran his Cadillac, bewitched the pretty things and bragged about his exploits through a series of brilliant, innovative and highly original tracks. Even when he got poorly he took the pills and made a play for the nurse. There was no holding him back. His repertoire formed the substrata of a whole generation of British Beat groups. He was idolised. But no-one could do it like Bo.

I saw him in the eighties when he gave a riotous concert in Hull on the night that Muddy Waters died. We talked to him afterwards and he claimed to have been ripped off by Chess and was a bit angry and sour but none-the-less friendly and amenable. I still cherish that photo I had taken with him.

Bo was a true original pioneer. What he laid down in the fifties will last for ever.

In the UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1464250562&sr=1-2-ent

Opher’s World Tributes to Rock Geniuses :

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ophers-World-Tributes-Rock-Geniuses/dp/1508631271?ie=UTF8&qid=1464250681&ref_=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_25&s=books&sr=1-25

In the USA:

http://www.amazon.com/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1464250895&sr=1-2-ent

Opher’s World Tributes to Rock Geniuses :

Kindle
$2.99
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https://www.amazon.com/Ophers-World-Tributes-Rock-Geniuses-ebook/dp/B00U7LHYBU?ie=UTF8&qid=1464250935&ref_=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_21&refinements=p_82%3AB00MSHUX6Y&s=books&sr=1-21

Thank you for looking!

Nick Harper Brilliant!!! – at the wonderful Ropery in Barton 2014

I’ve seen Nick tens of times in different venues all over the country but rarely as good as this!!

This is a new mature Nick, slightly more restrained, less chaotic and loud. A more thoughtful, humorous Nick.

Right from the start he set up a delightful relationship with the audience who warmed to his anecdotes, asides and humour.

Nick was in fine form, bending notes, doing impossible chords, mad tuning in songs, changing broken strings without pause all complete with a voice that soared into impossible heights. It was magical.

The new songs sounded great as well! And that album is out next week!

If you haven’t seen him recently – look out for him coming your way – it’s not one to miss!!

If you are unfamiliar check out his stuff on Amazon and purchase the great CD ‘Seed’ to begin with. You’ll end up with them all!

Check him out on You-Tube!