Today (March 6th) marks the 55th anniversary of The Rolling Stones’ debut as recording artists in the U.S., with the release of “Not Fade Away” as the band’s first single here. They didn’t write it; it was a Buddy Holly song. They made it their own by giving it a Bo Diddley beat. Drummer Charlie Watts tells what they did to distinguish it from the original.
“We did it in a Bo Diddley thing, which at the time was very avant-garde for a white band — to be playing Bo Diddley stuff. It was a very popular rhythm with us in clubs, looking at it from the drumming point of view, I mean. So we did it in this slightly different way than Buddy Holly.”