I was saddened to hear over the weekend that rock & roll legend Chuck Berry had passed away at his Missouri home at the age of 90.
Chuck Berry had a guitar style and lyrics that spoke to things all american kids of all ethnic backgrounds could relate to…like girls!!
Berry helped launch the rock era in the 1950’s
His songs, including Johnny B Good and Maybelene, were recorded by everyone from the Beatles and Rolling Stones, to Johnny Rivers and the Electric Light Orchestra.
He influenced an entire generation of musicians, and you need to have only heard just a few seconds of any of his songs to know that it was Chuck Berry.
He was unique to say the least, and despite multiple run-ins with the law that saw him spend time in prison in the 1940’s 60’s and 70’s, he was among the first to be inducted in to what was the brand new Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame in the 1980’s.
His “London sessions” album was, in my opinion, among the best “live” sets put on vinyl in the 1970’s.
And he continued to record until just a few months prior to his death.
Almost everyone who’s picked up a guitar has tried to imitate his licks on songs like Johnny Be Good, and most like me, have failed pretty miserably at it.
In this day when so many musicians and singers seem intent on copying whatever the latest sound is, Chuck Berry stayed true to his rock ‘n roll roots right up until the end.
That’s the way I see it.