Monday, June 02, 2008

I met Bo Diddley at a GRAMMY party in 1997. We were seated together. I have no idea why. I had just been invited to join a NARAS committee and had just gotten my debut solo album New Age Blues on to the Nomination Entry List in 15 different categories for the 40th Annual GRAMMY Awards. It really wasn't such a big deal, I had just figured out how to enter the album, earned my voting rights, and had the sheer audacity to send copies to the biggest names in the music business who comprised the nominating committee. Through some ridiculous miracle, I got on the nomination entry list and had my name in the voting book along side the biggest music stars in the world at the time. The album is/was a weird indie/D.I.Y. album I did myself in my home studio - though I did get some help and coaching from my friend and neighbor at the time Steve Evetts.

So anyway I get invited to a fancy GRAMMY party at the MOMA in New York. I felt like a total outsider. Bo asked me who I was and why I was here. I mumbled meekly about my debut album. He asked me about the music on New Age Blues and I felt like I shouldn't be taking up his time so I was like "oh its no big deal, etc." and I tried to shy away.

Bo then grabbed me by the shoulder and informed me that you don't walk away from Bo Diddley when Bo Diddley was talking to you. He said "you got to believe in yourself" - that it was the most important thing. He gave me about 15-20 minutes of free life counseling. Half of which I can't remember because I was thinking to myself, "WOW, holy fuck Bo Diddley's talkin to me!"

What I do clearly remember is that I was emotionally struck that this living legend at a VIP Grammy Party in NYC took the time to encourage and advise a young musician like me that he really didn't need to give a damn about.

Anyway, that's my Bo Diddley story.. Wherever you are Bo - thank you for your kindness and generosity of spirit. Your beat goes on..

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