Monday, September 5, 2016

The Heart of Rock and Soul # 860 Bo Diddley

'The only one of Bo's hits that he didn't write and one of Willie Dixon's major displays of his comico-magic voodoo blues. Bo's the perfect vehicle, because his music represents such a weird akignment of primitive and ultamodern. Like his square-bodied guitar that plays raggedy ass but pure electrified versions of Delta blues, or the raw rasping that conveys the animist allusions of Dixon's words, suddenly erupting into the complaint: 'You can't judge your radio turned down too low. Turn it up!'

In a way then , You Can't Judge a Book is a three-minute journey through rock and roll history, from its cultural roots in primitive society straight through to its unplanned appropriation of the electronic media - media invented and initially controlled by men and women who considered the likes of Dixon and Diddley complete barbarians. Had he ridden across mountains on a herd of elephants, Bo couldn't have told a truer tale.'

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