Thursday, February 01, 2007

An embarrassing confession
For the past thirty-five years, one of my favorite albums has been the second album by the San Francisco group Quicksilver Messenger Service, entitled Happy Trails. In the original vinyl version--which, of course, is all there was thirty-five years ago--the A side of the album consisted of a twenty five and a half minute live jam on the blues/rock piece "Who Do You Love." This piece was also recorded by Eric Clapton, The Doors, and George Thorogood and the Destroyers. These days, you can hear it in the background of the Samuel Adams beer ad on teevee where the founder of the brewery is shown smelling hops.

For all of these years I have thought the composer of that piece, one Ellis McDaniels (according to the album cover), was a member of Quicksilver Messenger Service, even though all four members of the band were pictured and named surrounding the credits on the back of the album cover. None of them was named Ellis McDaniels.

Today, I looked up another song of the same name, just because I was curious to see if there was a connection. I discovered that the author of "Who Do You Love," Ellis McDaniels, is Bo Diddley. Thirty-five years of listening to the bomp, de-bomp bomp, bomp bomp rhythm never clued me in. This is like listening to "Caravan" for decades and not realizing that the "Edward Kennedy Ellington" listed in the credits is also known as the Duke.

Please, tell me an embarrassing story that will make me feel better.

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