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#299748 - 03/19/17 04:23 AM Chuck Berry Dead at 90
TatumAH Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 353
Loc: Upstate NY
Chuck Berry Didn't Invent Rock n' Roll, But He Turned It Into an Attitude That Changed the World

RIP Chuck, and Thanks! Watching Johnny B.Goode brings a tear to my eye!
Tat

Chuck Berry Dead at 90



Chuck Berry, who died at 90 on March 18, 2017, is rightly hailed as the godfather of rock n' roll, that distinctly American art form that significantly impacted culture and music across the globe.

That being said, Berry isn't, as some assume, the inventor of rock. True, he was its most important early architect, but by the time his debut single "Maybellene" was unleashed into the world in 1955, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino and Bill Haley & the Comets already had iconic hit singles on the Billboard charts. Elvis Presley's rocked-up version of the blues song "That's All Right" dropped in 1954, and "Rocket 88" -- an Ike Turner-helmed recording some historians hail as the first true rock n' roll release -- actually came out in 1951, years before the rock revolution started in earnest.

So why, if rock was already on the charts, is Chuck Berry most commonly cited as the single most important figure in rock music's creation? Simply put, unlike Domino, Presley, Haley or even the immensely influential Diddley, Chuck Berry helped codify what rock music would become.

The St. Louis auteur contributed three things to rock music that no one else did: (1) An irresistible swagger, (2) a focus on the guitar riff as the primary melodic element and (3) an emphasis on songwriting as storytelling.

1) In terms of the aforementioned swagger, Berry injected a cocksure 'we know better than the adults' attitude into rock -- something his predecessors and peers hadn't yet dared to do. That youth-privileging outlook was essential in transforming rock n' roll from a musical fad into an irresistible attitude and lifestyle that infected teens and spread across America (also, it arguably paved the way for the massive generational divide of the '60s).



Edited by TatumAH (03/19/17 04:35 AM)
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#299749 - 03/19/17 05:50 AM Re: Chuck Berry Dead at 90 [Re: TatumAH]
Ken Condon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/14/07
Posts: 3683
Loc: Eugene, OR
This was my favorite from Mr Berry:




Poor guy
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#299787 - 03/20/17 01:55 AM Re: Chuck Berry Dead at 90 [Re: Ken Condon]
TatumAH Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 353
Loc: Upstate NY
Not only was he a fierce guitarist, when there were none to imitate, he was incredibly athletic. Try duckwalking for a workout!

Yowl! Tina Turner's dress is incredibly attractive!! There is just something about it...

Tat



Edited by TatumAH (03/20/17 04:31 AM)
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There's nothing wrong with thinking
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#299794 - 03/20/17 04:40 AM Re: Chuck Berry Dead at 90 [Re: TatumAH]
TatumAH Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 353
Loc: Upstate NY
Remembering Chuck Berry From the Atlantic
The rock 'n' roll legend—who died at the age of 90—was a fierce guitarist and unparalleled raconteur.

The greatest artists offer a reflection for a nation to see itself and its time, and Chuck Berry, a beautician by trade, knew a thing or two about holding up a mirror for a customer. His most famous song, “Johnny B. Goode,” is a classic story of the American dream: A poor, uneducated boy from the sticks uses his ability to make a guitar ring like a bell to make good—or so the listener is left to assume, though Berry left the ending notably ambiguous.

But Berry, unlike his protagonist, didn’t grow up in log-cabin rural squalor—he was a middle-class African American from segregated urban St. Louis. It is another of his compositions, using nearly the same opening riff—and when you write a lick that good, why not reuse it?—that demonstrates Berry’s ability to depict post-war America so convincingly.

The singer in “Promised Land” is, like the guitar-slinging Goode, a young man on the make. Starting off from home in Norfolk, Virginia, in a Greyhound, the singer wants to make it to California to make his name. The song is an atlas of America—great cities like New Orleans and Atlanta crop up, but so do smaller ones like Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Like his contemporaries the Beat Poets, the singer is determined to travel, but unlike them he does not have the tendency toward (nor, perhaps, the privilege of) shiftlessness. When the 'hound breaks down in Alabama, he hops a train—but he’s riding in style, not jumping a freight like Neal Cassady. Family members in Houston buy him a silk suit and an airplane ticket, and by the time he reaches California, he’s tucking into a T-bone steak on a jet airplane. With each new, fancier mode of transportation—bus, then train, then airliner—his horizons grow in tandem with a nation whose own future seemed limitless. (Berry was also closely attuned to that essential 1950s American preoccupation, the automobile, obsessively cataloging makes and models in other tunes.)


Edited by TatumAH (03/20/17 04:48 AM)
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There's nothing wrong with thinking
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#299800 - 03/20/17 09:54 AM Re: Chuck Berry Dead at 90 [Re: TatumAH]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6541
Loc: North San Diego County
Apparently Chuck wrote his own autobiography himself, without any assistance. One thing somebody who knew him said, is that he had no great sense of obligation to entertain the audience. If they pissed him off, he would just say "Screw em" and walk out. Cool guy!

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