Chuck Berry, rock and roll legend, dies aged 90

A gifted guitar player, an fantastic live performer, and a skilled songwriter whose music and lyrics captured the essence of 1950s teenage life.

For over 60 years, the job belonged to Chuck Berry via one of his most familiar and prized hits, “Roll Over Beethoven”. Country music without the Carter Family? A gifted guitar player, an unbelievable live performer, and a skilled songwriter whose music and lyrics captured the essence of 1950s teenage life.

The song is another example of how Berry came to influence Rock N Roll.

Tributes have continued to flood in for the late Chuck Berry from the likes of Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson and Ronnie Wood.

In a 1987 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Berry acknowledged that television networks were white-owned and gave more exposure to Elvis but said he did not see “The King” as his rival. He also pulled off his signature duck walk move without any trouble at all. Johnny B Goode was my template for writing “Taking Care of Business”.

It came out of an incident Berry saw involving the police while touring through parts of California with large communities of black and Latino residents. In high school, he was arrested for armed robbery and spent three years in a reformatory, between 1944 and 1947. A meeting in Chicago with famed blues musician Muddy Waters led to the release of Maybellene, national fame and a string of hits. He emotionally concludes “and I end this list of greats with Chuck Berry, and then say ‘the only one who mattered'”. In 1979, he served 120 days in prison for tax evasion.

“You know I was keen on Chuck Berry and I thought I was the only fan for miles”, Richards wrote to a relative in April 1962.

“I made records for people who would buy them”. That’s right, Chuck Berry has transcended both space and time. “Hail! Rock “n” Roll”.do yourself a favor and stream it tonight.

With Berry’s passing yesterday at age 90, rock “n” roll lost not only one of its preeminent stylists and composers, but one of its most integral architects.

That’s how blindingly NEW Chuck Berry’s style was. Huey Lewis called Berry the “the most important figure in all of rock and roll”. Later I realized why he played that way – because of the sheer physical size of the guy. Berry was the real thing. The “B” sides were also fabulous blues based rock and roll and Chucks lyrics were the most awesome story telling music on the radio. Berry performed concerts that same year with a number of artists including Linda Ronstadt, Etta James, Julian Lennon, Robert Cray and Johnson, his original mentor.

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