A Bit Like You And Me Radio

July 20, 2012

Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Diddy Wah Diddy (1966)

Captain Beefheart was the stage persona of Dan Van Vliet, born in Glendale, California 1941. In his teen years, he became friends with Frank Zappa (later of The Mothers of Invention) and the two had a hot and cold friendship lined with a streak of rivalry. In 1965, Van Vliet joined the newly created Magic Band and the group began recording blues-inspired songs. As with the rest of the civilized world in ’66 and ‘67, their music took a psychedelic turn in nature, but he and his Magic Band were unique in taking a strong experimental/avant-garde approach, which was unique even at the time. Known as being very demanding and impossible to work with, The Magic Band often had a changing lineup of members. With only a few public appearances after his 1982 retirement from music, Van Vliet passed away on December 17th, 2010, attributed to complications from multiple sclerosis.

Originally co-written and recorded by Bo Diddley in 1956, this song refers to the mythical city of Diddy Wah Diddy. In the first half of the 20th century, it was common for African Americans to refer to mythical, utopian towns such as this one as if they were real. This version of the song was Beefheart and his band’s first single and became a regional hit in California. It was produced by David Gates, who would later go on to be the frontman of the band Bread.

album art

Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Diddy Wah Diddy (1966)

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Lyrics:

I got a gal in Diddy Wah Diddy
Ain't no town and it ain't no city
She loves her man ‘til it's a pity
Crazy 'bout my girl in Diddy Wah Diddy

(Diddy Wah)
(Diddy Wah)
(Diddy Wah)

This little gal’s as sweet as she can be
I know she's in love with me
Lovely thing, she's so pretty
She live way down in Diddy Wah Diddy

(Diddy Wah)
(Diddy Wah)
(Diddy Wah)

Ain't no town, ain't no city
Woah, how they love in Diddy Wah Diddy

She kiss me all the time
Gonna drive me outta my mind
Any day she say she ready
Take her right back to Diddy Wah Diddy

(Diddy Wah)
(Diddy Wah)
(Diddy Wah)

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