The Bo Diddley Interview
Bo on Economics & America
BD: The Black people in the southern states. I am for change 100%. I am for being treated like
anyone else on this planet by other human beings. Only treat me different if I become a criminal. If I mess up out
there in society and defy the laws that have been laid down to protect all of us, then I should be taken out of society
and be put where there are nothing but criminals. When they started making cotton picking machines all the people who
were picking cotton started walking around the country with nothing to do.
SG:Is that why your folks moved from Mississippi to Chicago?
BD: I just had to go where they took me. I was too young to know. All I cared about was a
lolly-pop, bag of peppermint candy, and letís ride the train. I donít know why they left. Iím glad they did leave
because maybe I wouldnít have had the opportunity that I had in Chicago.
SG: What about trade unions?
BD: : I hate to say this but itís true. Trade unions are going to be our downfall. If a man youíre
working for is going to be fair with you and not try to put everything in his pocket thatís one thing. But if heís going
to pay you anything knowing that youíve got a family to feed and heís making a profit, he can afford to give up some of
that to his workers that makes them work better and turn out more. Now everybody feels like ďWhat am I working so hard
for Iíve got a union card. Cat canít fire me. Fire me, shit heís going to have to pay.Ē That particular person is not
giving the employer a full dayís work therefore we are not turning out economically what we should be as Americans.
We are bullshitting on the jobs and getting paid for stuff weíre not doing. Pretty soon the workers say they want more
money and the man says ďHell with you Iím not giving you anymore money, I canít afford it.Ē The workers say ďWell weíre
walking out then.Ē The next week the manís putting a chain on the door, cat done sold out and left and went to Siberia.
Now whereís your job? Why not come up with something that the union controls like four raises you get on the job and
the only way youíre going to get them is if you get a contract. You get a contract to work another four years. Boom!
You dig? Youíve got that contract for another four years. Youíve got that contract you can only default if you miss work
for any reason but a natural act of God.
SG: Basic democratic rights. Like safe working conditions.
BD: Then I think we would be on our way to recovery form this economic mess. Everyone thinks that
their boss owes them something. Nobody owes you nothing. America donít owe you nothing, you owe this country for being
free in the sucker in the first place. Itís not what your country can do for you, itís what you can do for this country.
We as Americans, and everybody else I know of, have to get off our ass and start smiling again and be happy that theyíre
in this sucker. Because Iíve been all over the world and thereís only two or three different places I could live besides
here, thatís Australia, England and Canada. Even Germany is great except you have to have papers everywhere you go.
Compared to other countries we couldnít even be sitting up here talking about this right now. They would tear the door
down. Immediately we are bad news, we are a germ within the system and would have to be dealt with. And we ainít said
nothing. Until we realize it, whether you like it or not, that shit is on your shoulders as a young man, and I donít
classify myself as no old man, but Iím out of reach of protecting America and the freedom that goes along with it.
But if I have to, my black ass is ready to go. I dig being able to stand up on stage and play my guitar, and say anything
I feel like saying and jump up and down and look at people smiling and laughing and carrying on, and having a good time.
Nobody wants to get hooked up into this kind of thing . War. I wish that war was never invented. We as human beings are
supposed to be civilized enough so that we can sit down and talk about it. Ask Russia what did we do to make you people
build all those bombs to drop on somebody, if it ainít for us, then who are you after? Who is it that you are going to
drop all that shit on? If a catís stacking bricks in his backyard and heís not building a house whatís he going to do
with them? Throw them into your window if youíve been arguing. And youíre going to sit by and not stack any? This is
what makes the hostility.
I think Carter was great but I nicknamed him ďBible ShakerĒ. He was shaking the bible at Russia trying to tell them
about the human rights trip which was great, but those people donít want to hear it. Just like a spiritual person donít
want to hear me use four letter words. In other words, take our religion and go back to America with it. Donít tell them
what to do. Clean up your own house first. Meaning America needs to be cleaning up their act when it comes to human
rights. The sooner we wipe out all this racial bullshit and realize we all are worshipping the same God the better.
You think heís happy about us fighting over him? Fighting is not love thy brother. There is a misinterpretation