[Bo Diddley Interview 3/16/06 Tape #2]

Interview with blues musician Bo Diddley.

0:00-0:14Copy video clip URL Diddley’s voice is head over bars.

0:30Copy video clip URL Interviewers Ranstrom, speaking off-site via phone, asks Diddley to repeat an earlier answer about learning from Muddy Waters. Diddley does so, talking about the importance of being a student and also a teacher to others. He says that while Muddy Waters was “writing the hits,” he was studying classical music. He claims to be more of a showman than a guitar player, and identifies this as the secret of his appeal.

2:55Copy video clip URL Ranstrom asks to what extent Waters owed his success to the presence of Little Walter in his band; Diddley claims that his contribution was substantial, and laments that many players in the blues scene have not been recognized or remembered. He says that Elvis Presley got credit for beginning rock ‘n’ roll; though he recognizes Presley’s contribution, he regards this as a distortion.

8:00Copy video clip URL Diddley dismisses many who claim to play blues in the present day, insisting that they lack the feeling for it. Many of the musicians on Maxwell Street, according to Diddley, found the feeling in economic desperation, as did the musicians “from the cotton fields, white or black.” 

9:45Copy video clip URL Ranstrom asks about “white blues” bands such as Mike Bloomfield, Charlie Musselwhite, or Paul Butterfield. Diddley professes admiration for Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn but dismisses the work of most others as not having been “seasoned right.”

11:40Copy video clip URL Ranstrom asks about the importance of the harmonica in the blues sound. Diddley says it was the instrument of an overworked musician; he then talks about his childhood of deprivation. 

13:00Copy video clip URL Asked how he got the name Bo Diddley, he suggests that it was because he “used to fight a little bit” when he was in school. Ranstrom requests that he play some excerpts from his hits, but Diddley refuses. He thanks Ranstrom and the rest of his crew for their interest in his life, and singles out his friend Buster for special praise.

16:40Copy video clip URL Diddley suggests that Ranstrom ask Clapton about the influence he found in the Chicago blues scene.

17:50Copy video clip URL A shot of the mic recording room tone.

18:45Copy video clip URL Video ends.



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