Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shave and a haircut - two bits

I received an email from my brother, Salvelinas Fontinalis (yes, I know, he was named after a trout and I was named after a salty...rub it in, already). He noted I mentioned the "shave and a haircut - two bits riff and suggested I post a link to Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks. Now there's some ancient Toronto history! Here's a reunion of sorts, The Band (formerly The Hawks) with their old boss, Ronnie Hawkins from the brilliant 1976 film The Last Waltz.

We associate the rhythm with the late Bo Diddley because he popularized it. It would be intersting to try to trace it back through African American music. In this post, I'm just going to present a glimpse at some of the people who made a good living off it since the coming of Mr. Diddley. Here's a clip which actually features Bo Diddley AND Ronnie Hawkins together. Then listen to the master performing, You can't judge a book by looking at the cover. If I ever put together a little accordion combo, I'd like to have dancers like the ones in this video! I mean, wouldn't you?

Let's look at some of the other performers who have had hits with the same riff. Here's Johnny Otis performing Willie and the Hand Jive. The Who got in the act with Magic Bus. Remember Bow Wow Wow with their cover of the Strangeloves tune, I want Candy??

The Dead jumped on the train with Women are Smarter Jerry and the boys did a nice job on this one. In fact, the Bo Diddley riff is so ingrained in pop music, this post could go on for a long time. I'll spare you that though and end with Steppenwolf, on the Smothers Brothers television show, playing Magic Carpet Ride. Wow, these guys had groovy outfits and hair-dos, didn't they?

1 comment:

Candy Minx said...

The dancers were lovely! I also could hardly take my eyes off his rhythm guitarists slacks, they were very tight leather wowie! SExy!