"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Go Bo Diddley (Checker LP1436)

I started buying Bo Diddley records back in the late '80s, on sound advice from music-loving co-workers.   

Go Bo Diddley. Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger.  These were the original Chess masters, reissued by MCA.  I worked in Westwood and lived in Santa Monica.  It was a nice walk home, an opportunity to unwind.  

On days when I had money in my pocket, I frequently stopped at the old Rhino Records on Westwood Blvd.  When my pockets were empty, I purposely walked on the other side of the street, to avoid temptation.

I don't remember the first time I heard "Say Man."  

There's a chance I was sitting on the floor in front of my stereo, listening intently, reading liner notes about Diddley's legacy, his influence on other artists.  Or maybe I was  standing at the kitchen sink, washing dishes, listening to the music waft in from the other room.  Either way, the song's been in my consciousness for nearly 30 years.

Do you know "Say Man?"  It's basically Diddley and Jerome Green goofing on each other, three minutes of classic chops-busting over a hellishly rhythmic beat.

Say man 

What's that boy?
I want to tell you 'bout your girlfriend
What about my girl?
Well, you don't look strong enough to take the message
I'm strong enough
I might hurt your feelings
My feelings are already hurt by being here with you

Well, I was walking down the street with your girl the other day
And the wind was blowin' real hard
Is that right?
And the wind blew her hair into my face
You know what else happened?
What happened?
The wind blew her hair into her face
And we went a little further, you wanna hear the rest of it?
I might as well
The wind blew her hair into the street

Okay, since you told me about my girl, 
I'm gonna tell you about yours.  
I was walking down the street with your girl
I took her home, for a drink, you know
Took her home?
Yeah, just for a drink
But that chick looked so ugly, s
he had to sneak up on the glass to get a drink of water

You've got the nerve to call somebody ugly. Why, you're so ugly, the stork that brought you in the world oughta be arrested
That's alright, my momma didn't have to put a sheet o
n my head so sleep could slip up on me

Look a here
What's that?
Where are you from?
South America
What's that?
South America
You don't look like no South American to me
I'm still from South America
What part?
South Texas

Where are your workin' boots at?
I've got 'em on
There aren't no boots you got on, those are brogans

Hey, look a here
What's that?
I've been tryin' to figure out what you is
I already figured out what you is
What's that?
You that thing I throw peanuts at

Look a here
What's that?
You should be ashamed of yourself
Calling people ugly
I didn't call you ugly
What you say?
I said you was ruined, that's all

You know somethin'?
You look like you've bin whooped with a ugly stick
Hey, I ain't got nothin' to do with it but I beat a fella right

Back then, I never thought I'd own any original Diddley vinyl, but I picked up a ratty but still playable copy of his debut six months ago. 

The other day, I found Go Bo Diddley.

Do you know I have the same record player from my Westwood days?  It's older than my daughter, but it still plays like a champ.  

I put the record on and I filled the kitchen sink with soapy water and I waited for the last long on the first side to play.

Bo Diddley died in 2008, but "Say Man" still plays like a champ.

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