Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 11:58 UK

Diddley 'changed face of music'

Some of music's biggest stars have honoured US rock 'n' roll pioneer Bo Diddley who has died at the age of 79.

Mercury-nominated singer-songwriter Richard Hawley told BBC 6 Music why Diddley was such an important figure in the history of popular music.

I was about six or seven when I first heard Bo Diddley's music and my dad had his first six albums.

Bo Diddley

The one I used to listen to all the time was Bo Diddley Is A Gun Slinger.

It's just a brilliant record, it's really primal and it just had a huge impact on guitar sounds and how I wanted things to sound.

Without him, there wouldn't be any music - the history of music would not have developed as it has.

You wouldn't have the Rolling Stones and you wouldn't have had all the beat groups in the 1960s and you wouldn't have had the Stooges.

Conversely, logically, you wouldn't have had punk and the Sex Pistols and a lot of other stuff.

His music and that Bo Diddley beat, that kind of shaven-haircut, two-bits beat that he had is kind of the bedrock of most rock 'n' roll.

Richard Hawley
He took a very childlike, simple beat and beefed it up massively and changed the face of modern music very simply

There's him, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard that I think are the cornerstones of modern music.

The Bo Diddley beat can be heard in Not Fade Away - play any number of his tracks.

That beat came almost from children's nursery rhymes and it came from outside barber shops in America.

Outside the barber shops, they'd have a kid with a little wooden plank with tap shoes playing that kind of rhythm.

He took a very childlike, simple beat and beefed it up massively and changed the face of modern music very simply.

But it was a very brilliant idea.

People who know, really honour and respect him.

I could probably play six records that have completely nicked that beat - from Rolling Stones to U2 - and I don't know if the general public are aware that it actually comes from him.

I hope now that he gets the fitting tributes he deserves because he was a genius.

'Classic' tracks

He'll definitely be missed by me and probably thousands of other people too.

It's always upsetting when you hear that one of the greats has passed away because it takes us further away from the source of what makes great music.

I think musicians will inevitably gravitate towards the source of the river - the mountain top - and that's where Bo Diddley was

I just hope that people continue listening to Bo Diddley for a thousand years.

His first album, if anyone can get it - every track is a classic.

There's a song of his called Who Do You Love that, if you listen to it, you can hear pretty much every rock 'n' roll band in that one track.

My dad worked with him in the 60s, he did a gig with him when he toured in England.

He said he was really a gentle man and quite a funny bloke and, apparently, he had the biggest hands he'd ever seen on a human being.

He was an incredible musician.

As human beings, I think we need something that that's primal to keep us going.

I think musicians will inevitably gravitate towards the source of the river - the mountain top - and that's where Bo Diddley was.



SEE ALSO
Musician Bo Diddley dies aged 79
02 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Obituary: Bo Diddley
02 Jun 08 |  Entertainment

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