he don’t say nothin’…
he don’t say nothin’…
A Rock & Roll Highlight
The high bourbon-mark – as it were – of The Regents career was one night in 1959 at the National Guard Armory when we opened for Bo Diddley. That night there was this slight contract dispute. Bo Diddley – who was several hours late when he got there – he looked at the contract. Richard Sales – who was then president of TKO, putting on the dance – he had this contract. He says, “Now you’re taking one break – you’re here late already – now you’re just gonna take one break.” And Bo Diddley says, “No, I’m taking three breaks.” Richard says, “No, no – look down here in the contract – it says you’re taking one break.” Bo Diddley reaches in his pocket and he gets this little greasy square of paper and he unfolds it about twenty times and – sure enough – it’s the contract. And he says, “Yeah.” – he folds it back up and puts it in his pocket – “it says that in my contract too but I tell you what.” He points at me and says, “You could have been Bo Diddley,” – he points at Stanley and says – “or he could have been Bo Diddley, but I am Bo Diddley and Bo Diddley is taking three breaks.”
He took three breaks and we played the breaks. He was way up on a pedestal and (Danny) Graflund was trying to climb up there and get to him – so he could play his maracas – wearing a six-pack of beer on his head like an Indian headdress. It was a spectacular moment.
Bo Diddley never came down – he stayed up there all night – and he looked down at one point, we were playing “Smokestack Lightnin” I think – and kinda gave us the thumbs up. Y’know, I thought I had it made at that moment.
He had a maraca-player named Jerome Green and I decided that I was gonna get my first ‘theatrical’ autograph. So, I went into the bathroom in between sets. Bo Diddley is still up there but Jerome and Clifton, the drummer, went in the bathroom. Jerome was sitting in the urinal – with a hairnet on over his pompadour – reading a Batman comic-book. He autographed my guitar case – my Silvertone guitar case that I bought from new and wish I still had – “Jerome Green, Bo Diddley Band.” If Bo Diddley were here tonight, he would say. . .”
We then launched into a cataclysmic medley of “Bo Diddley / Who Do You Love” and the fate of our souls – and livers – was secured forever.
|The Godfather of postpunk mutant funk, Jim Dickinson was (and still is) a Contributing Editor to Smoke Signals. He can be found singing Mark “Butch” Unobsky’s ASSHOLE in the spring 08 issue http://smokesignalsmag.com/2/ and singing Dave Hickey’s BILLY & OSCAR in issue 09#1-2 http://smokesignalsmag.com/4/wordpress/ . He took his leave of absence Aug 15, 2009, with the words, “I’m just dead, I’m not gone.” His work can be found and purchased from http://www.zebraranch.com/The two cuts enclosed here – HARD TIMES and WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR are from his recently released album Dinosaurs Run in Circles.|