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Bo Diddley...

We had the same birthday and I thought that made me cooler.

Your CDs were the first reissues I bought. You were the classic that I wanted to hear with better clarity.

I loved your guitar but the time in the late 80s and early 90s when you switched to piano was sweeter because you didn't change a thing except for where you put your hands. That same stomp a-stomp a bomp-domp worked on either instrument.

My mom always told the story of how she and some teenybopper friends saw you in a fancy car at a stoplight and climbed out to say hi. You made it clear that it was so early in your career that having white fans freaked you out.

You might've been a pop culture icon but you did it with style. BB King had to do diabetes ads but you shilled for Nike. You opened for the Clash and jammed with the Grateful Dead.

All week, in your honor, in the middle of conversation, I'm just going to turn to whoever I'm talking to and shout, in my best grunt, "I spell M..."

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readingthedark

May 2009

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