How men show love: George Thorogood and Bo Diddley

Men love music, both listening to it and creating it, just like women–and I would hazard a “sexist” guess that in general men are more obsessive about creating music than women are, although there are any number of fantastic female musicians out there. And frankly, as an MRA, I’m sick of being stereotyped as a stick figure man with his “raging misogyny” and bitterness and whatnot, so I freely talk about other interests, in my case things like music and video games and comics, Ty Henry is into things like sports, and so on. We’re three dimensional human beings who show it to the world–and that is one of many things that those who hate us do not want us to do.

As it happens my tastes are eclectic but run very heavily to classical blues from the early 20th Century in the Mississippi Delta all the way to the blues-rock artists who emerged in the United States and the UK in the 1960s and 1970s. Yes it’s old stuff, but so what? I was in diapers or not born when most of it was made, but I love it, and I love exploring the history of it all, as do many of the greatest musicians. I laugh at people who call Motown “roots music.” Don’t get me wrong, I fucking love Motown, I’m just saying, many of my favorite artists were dead before Berry Gordy graduated from school.

Take for example the great Bo Diddley. I recently found this wonderful video from 1965, which was (A) nade a year before I was born, (B) totally in black and white, and (C) absofuckinglutely awesome from start to end.

There’s a number of historical things to note with sarcasm and/or sorrow here; things that help illustrate how absolutely poisonous “Social Justice” bigotry and toxic Feminism are. For example:

This video is 50 years old. Voting rights are still under dispute and under court contention in the United States. And while this was just a smidge after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that Act took a while to get through the courts and if I’m not mistaken that may be a racially segregated audience. If not, then it seems to have segregated itself out of habit, but who cared? This is actually something of an amazing moment, black performers playing for an all-white audience, with the white girls and black girls screaming their heads off just as if Didley were the Beatles.

People think girls invented that shit for the Beatles? Ha. Here’s one of the greatest Blues recordings ever made, by another man, the legendary BB King, and listen to those girls scream:

By the way tune in especially to about the 2:22 mark to hear one of the most delicious moments ever set to live recording. Must be some wicked Patriarchy making them girls act like that huh?

The jokes just write themselves, don’t they? Think B.B. King dated a Cluster B girl a time or two? I have a feeling.

Did B.B. King need to get over his “toxic masculinity” so he would learn to express his emotions better? Yeah, fuck you.

Anyway, back to B.B. King’s contemporary, Bo Diddley. When I posted the delicious Bo Diddley video from 1965 above, I tweeted several bits of snark about it to #SpankAFeminist. I also noted the irony of how Bo Diddley was “obviously” oppressing all the woman in that video, especially the black one that he was obviously not letting play a guitar or anything, like an intersectional patriarchal bastard. Was it the white women or the black women he was most oppressing there? I still can’t decide.

Also by the way I’ve seen extensive interviews with multiple backup singers from this era, male and female. To a woman, and to a man, they all said they mostly preferred to be the backup rather than the lead, they didn’t like the star pressure and they just wanted to make music. Thanks for shaming them, feminists.

Anyway, in the middle of a righteous snark-fest, I got a response from someone I don’t really know saying, “How in the hell did I go 30 years without hearing this man play?!”

My heart warmed immediately. He felt safe saying “this man” rather than “this person.” And it gave me an opportunity to share more, and I noted that this man probably owes half his career to Bo Diddley, the guy who did the song you hear in 500 commercials, TV shows, and movies a year:

The response came wondering why George Thorogood didn’t owe Diddley royalties? A smart question. You almost cannot listen to that “Bad to the Bone” song without hearing Bo Diddley. My first response was to note that if he owed Diddley half his career, he owed the other half to this guy, who died when Thorogood was in High School in 1963:

Say what you will about Thorogood’s whisky, beer, and corn nuts sensibility. It’s amazing how he synthesized a sound of its own that is instantly recognizable as primarily a synthesis of these two fairly different men, isn’t it?

Now to that question of royalties: That assumption–rendered completely innocently in that individual’s case I am sure–seems like a bit of Social Justice poison that’s seeped into the culture. Yes, of course, some blues musicians got “ripped off” back in the 1970s but that’s a more tangled story than people assume, and actually most of the young blues-oriented rockers from the ’60s and ’70s openly idolized these old masters.

You know, when Bo Diddley was a kid, he generally wasn’t allowed to play for white people. Although if he was lucky they might, as they did other great blues artists of his generation, rub his hair, give him a penny, and affectionately ask him to play some nigger music for them, and he would likely oblige because he needed the money. By the time that video in 1965 was shot, he was actually at the pinnacle of his career, and it began to wane from there.

By 1985, 20 years later, as he was getting old and everyone had forgotten him. But this happened:

Note the moment at about 1:20 when the shy aging man comes out. The whole time as he walks, looking everywhere but at the audience or the other musicians. Manfully (yeah I said it) showing nothing. Finally, at 1:55 turning to look upon a sea of faces of every color, 100,000 in person and upwards of a billion worldwide in a live broadcast. His whole life, never so many cheering fans. An inconceivable, impossible moment, and indescribably beautiful if only you just watch him. And then he plays.

Three and a half minutes in, Bo Diddley even raps. In 1985. No one did that for mainstream audiences back then, and certainly not in an R&B audience. Not in 1985. But there’s Bo doing it.

There is only one sane response to all that on your part, and it involves wiping away tears.

Oh and of course Thorogood paid those royalties, and Bo’s name was right there on the record.

The hateful feminist narrative about history and the Social Justice poison never are laid so bare as when you contemplate this:

They tell us not to openly express our emotions because of our “toxic masculinity.” No.


There is no higher way for a man to show his love for another man than by trying to emulate him–and by letting others know that that man is his hero. Say what you will about George Thorogood, that is a truly brilliant moment, and it is a special moment between men that, much of the time, only men can understand instinctively.

And fuck you if you think there’s something “sexist” about that observation. “Intersectional” feminist cultists: you poison everything.

End note: I dedicate this essay to filmmaker and musician Jordan Owen. Just because he rocks. –DE

[Ed. note: featured image appears courtesy of Masahiro Sumori and is licensed under Creative Commons GNU]

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