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oxe57

Chuck Berry Dies at 90

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Wow one of the fathers of modern music has passed.  This a good time to bring up one of my fav' topics.  Greatest guitarist in Rock and Roll history.  I've always felt it was a tie between Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley.  If you look at originality, classic rock songs and influence these two cats are second to none.  They have their influences but this thing called Rock and Roll guitar was heavily shaped by them.  I strongly recommend a film entitled "Hail Hail Rock and Roll" by director Taylor Hackford.  It tells the story of Chuck Berry about as well as humanly possible. 

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Chuck Berry Lives!

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No Particular Place to Go is about as universal as a song can get.  I had no particular place to go a million times in my life.  Chuck Berry lives in his music.  I am so thankful he is heavily recorded and filmed.  He left his mark upon the earth and on a skinny little kid from Los Angeles.  RIP Johnny B. Goode...

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When I was a kid my Mom used to play My ding a ling and we'd laugh. The dude had his demons but so brilliant when you consider it had never been put all together like that. Revolutionized Rock and Roll and started us down the evolutionary road we've been on musically. Personal favorite at this moment is Never Can Tell. Always loved the energy in Sweet Little 16, though that subject matter is a little creepy in hind site. The energy though! John Lennon's version of that song on BBC tapes it just raw energy. 

 

Living in St. Louis you could still go see him at Blueberry hill. Not always on it but ever the entertainer and worth the price of admission. 

 

I read a book by a promoter based in San Diego and he mentioned Chuck was really difficult to work with. Would have the promoter hire the band local so he wouldn't have to pay a traveling band. Took cash only and often tried to raise the price the night of the gig. Couple hours before the show he'd pull up in an old Caddy with Missouri plates and get out with just a guitar case and a problem you had to pay for. Old school. All that said he sold out the shows and put on a hell of a performance and they had him back despite the difficulties because good is good.  

 

Classic songs like surfing USA were written to Chuck Berry's Sweet Little 16 and Chuck ended up sharing song writing credits there. So many other examples. 

 

I feel like it has almost all been done now. The only thing that happens in music is it gets harder and heavier or we jumble up styles. Sometimes to cool effect. But here's a guy that was there when things were raw and there for the shaping. We're all just historians now. Interpreting and reinterpreting. 

 

 

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Well said Scotto.  Can you imagine being a super star who is black in the 1950's?  You sell out concerts but can't eat in the same restaurant as the folks who bought the tickets to your show.  You live in the shadow of the Emmitt Till incident.  You write the lyric, melody and arrangement to a song, you sing the hell out of it and then watch as friends and business partners of the guy whose studio you recorded in get writing credits on your song.  This is the world that Chuck Berry lived in.  In spite of this he still created great works of art.  Yes Chuck Berry had his demons but when I look at the world he lived in I might have had them too...

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