Culture&Arts

Chuck Berry Dies Aged 90 The Quietus , March 18th, 2017 22:20

Chuck Berry Dies Aged 90 The Quietus , March 18th, 2017 22:20

Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry performing at a concert held in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on March 28, 2008.

Berry was born in St Louis, Missouri, in 1926, and had his first hit, Maybellene, in 1955.

This idea of capturing America's teenage years in music was something the Beach Boys would go on to cultivate, making the fact that Surfing USA is set to the music of Sweet Little Sixteen just a little significant.

Listen to one of Berry's classic songs "Johnny B. Goode" below. And along the way he changed our country and the history of popular music.

Leonard Cohen believed, "all of us are footnotes to the words of Chuck Berry", while Bob Dylan dubbed him the "Shakespeare of rock "n" roll", Peter Guralnick recalled in Rolling Stone in October 2016.

Queen guitarist Brian May wrote a lengthy tribute on his official website remembering Berry. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr also expressed his condolences: "R I P. And peace and love Chuck Berry Mr. rock "n" roll music".


Mick Jagger's message was longer than 140 characters.

At 90, Berry left behind a life that even Johnny B. Goode would have had a hard time hoping for. The two were married for nearly 70 years. He emerged to go to work in an automobile factory, but he was playing music publicly with the Johnnie Johnson Trio by 1953. "This breaks my heart, but 90 years old ain't bad for rock and roll". In 1979, he served 120 days in prison for tax evasion. But his music attracted fans of all ethnicities.

"I made records for people who would buy them. I was awed then and that feeling has never waned". With Elvis or Richard, it's the singing that gets stuck in your brain, but with Berry, it's the guitar riff that gets played over and over in your head.

Among his many other accolades, Berry received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984, was recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2000 and was presented with Sweden's prestigious Polar Music Prize in 2014.

Musician Lenny Kravitz on Instagram hailed Berry as a forefather of rock "n" roll, saying, "None of us would have been here without you". He says one of Dylan's great accomplishments was absorbing Berry's gifts into his own style. I am playing I'm talking about you. "RIP Chuck Berry. Johnny'll be good up there". He dedicated the album to his wife of 68 years, Themetta "Toddy" Berry, whom he is survived by.

He concluded: "Chuck, you were wonderful, and your music is engraved inside us forever".


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