Printed in bright red and blue, this poster has a central image of the Sonoma County Court House after the 1906 earthquake. Signed by Stanley Mouse, this poster was sold to me by Dave Getz, drummer for Big Brother, in 1985.
Bo Diddley broke new ground in rock and roll’s formative years with his unique guitar work, indelible African rhythms, inventive songwriting , his homemade square “cigarbox” electric guitar and larger-than-life persona. He popularized one of the foundational rhythms of rock and roll: the Bo Diddley beat, employed in his namesake song, “Bo Diddley,” as well as other primal rockers like “Mona.”
This African-based 4/4 rhythm pattern (which goes bomp-bomp-bomp bomp-bomp) was picked up from Diddley by other artists and has been a distinctive and recurring element in rock and roll through the decades. It can be heard on Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away,” Johnny Otis’ “Willie and the Hand Jive,” the Strangeloves’ “I Want Candy,” the Who’s “Magic Bus” and Bruce Springsteen’s “She’s the One,” to name just several songs. Diddley is the author of other well-known songs, including “Who Do You Love?,” “Road Runner,” “Before You Accuse Me” and “I’m a Man,” that are among the earliest examples of rock and roll rising out of its source material in rhythm and blues.