Diddley-Squat Royalties

When Bo Diddley played the Belly Up Tavern on June 23, everyone was allowed backstage after the show (two at a time). One guy wouldn't stop talking to Diddley; we all waited 30 minutes for the motormouth to shut up. People had albums and guitars, which Diddley signed (most musicians don't sign guitars so they don't end up on eBay).

I'd brought the one Diddley CD I own, in case I got the chance for him to sign it. When he saw it, he called a woman named Mona over (she'd played keyboards). Diddley told her, "This is what I'm talking about! This is the shit that gets me mad." He asked me where I got the CD (Borders) and quickly said, "I'm not mad at you. It's not your fault. But this CD is called Bo Knows Bo, [and] I've never done a CD with that title. It's this repackaged stuff that I don't get paid for. And you guys don't know and buy these CDs. I'm furious!"

Mona asked if she could have the CD. Diddley said, "No. Don't take his CD, just write the information down." I said, "Go ahead, you can have the CD case. I don't need it." Diddley apologized to me again and continued his rant about companies that repackage his songs.

He signed my ticket stub after looking at both sides. I was glad I'd paid the $35 for it and it didn't say COMP.

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