I was dying to put something different on my car’s CD player this morning and I found a gem on on unlabeled disc. I had a bunch of great songs on this random disc I burned from iTunes, but I pretty much kept the first cut on repeat all day. That song was a cover of Bo Diddley’s “Ride on Josephine” by George Thorogood and The Destroyers.
This version could be both my favorite Bo Diddley cover and my favorite Thorogood recording. Thorogood’s version is a loose rocker that oozes rhythm from the intro on the song. Listening to it, you can tell he is a big Bo Diddley fan. (The video for his signature song “Bad to the Bone” featured Bo as a pool shark back in the day.) Thorogood not only keeps the rhythm going, but also throws in some guitar licks from Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” as well. “Josephine” was on the 1977 album “George Thorogood and the Destroyers”. If you’re into roots rock or slide guitar, I highly recommend it.
There are some differences between Thorogood’s version and the original early Sixties release by the songwriter Bo Diddley. The biggest one to my ears is the gospel-style chorus on Bo’s. There’s also a cool guitar lick.
I think both versions are great. Bo Diddley’s sense of humor in the spoken word bit adds even more fun to this romp and Thorogood has a great time with it, too.
Another thing that jumps out at me about this song is its lyrics remind me of a Chuck Berry styled tune. Sure it’s a car and chick thing, but it’s also a pretty frantic set of lyrics. It makes me think of both Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business” and “Maybellene”. There are other versions of “Ride on Josephine” out there, but the Thorogood version is hard to beat.
Till next time, keep your Mojo on the Horizon!