Wednesday, September 24, 2014


“Say Man, Back Again” was the middle of the three Bo Diddley “dozens” records, bookended by “Say Man” and “Signifying Blues.” It was a favorite of my friends and mine back in junior high, just a bunch of white beach town teenagers goofing on the jokes and insults. When MCA first put out the Bo Diddley Chess Box in 1990 it really bugged me that they issued an alternate take of my favorite Bo Diddley record instead of the issued version. Well, all these years later, all the takes of all three songs have been reissued in original and alternate versions (I believe) on various compilations so all is well. And while I can see why Checker originally used the version they did on the single and Have Guitar Will Travel LP, this version of “Say Man, Back Again” is also pretty funny. It seems like an earlier take as the jibes and jokes don’t sound quite as well developed as they would be on the 45, but who knows. . . . It’s still a fun song and Bo and Jerome’s back-and-forths continue to crack me up 55 years later.

Bo Diddley • Say Man, Back Again [alternate take] • 1959

Bo Diddley, vocal/guitar; Jerome Green, vocal/maracas; Peggy Jones, guitar; Clifton James or Frank Kirkland, drums; Willie Dixon, double bass; Lafayette Leake, piano. Chicago, early September 1959.

The alternate and issued versions “Say Man, Back Again” can be heard on Road Runner / The Chess Masters, 

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