RIP, Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry has gone to play his greatest hits set in the sky; he was 90 and he will be missed.

I’m reading many essays that credit Berry with the invention of Rock, which is undoubtedly fair. I think (as most things) it was more evolution than invention. Berry might not have been the first to leap from the Blues to Rock, but he was the first to make it a lifestyle.

“I just wish I could express my feelings the way Chuck Berry does,”‘ Presley once confessed.

I suppose, coming of age in the ’80s I was always aware of Berry. There was a lot of ’50s nostalgia back then, and Marty McFly’s epic sock hop made me realize that there was a lot of rock (not just do-woop) from the ’50s.

We’ll conclude with this lovely letter from Carl Sagan.

Yup, Johnny B. Goode, indeed.

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5 Responses to RIP, Chuck Berry

  1. Buttermilk Sky says:

    The remark at the time of launch was, “We got a message from space! They said, ‘Send more Chuck Berry.'”


  2. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    Few other individuals have become such an integral part of our lives. RIP, Chuck, you were the soundtrack of generations.


  3. Ed says:

    A part of my life as far back as my memory goes, I’m in my mid 60’s
    Music he made before my coming of age blended seamlessly with music of the 60’s British Invasion that as a kid I was perfectly positioned for. While working behind the scenes at the R&R HOF concert he passed me by several times before going on stage, and actually nodded to acknowledge my presence one time. Goose bumps. Ed’s havin’ a real sad, I’m taking this a lot harder than I ever thought I would. R&R Heaven just received one heck of an upgrade.

    C’est la vie say the old folks.


    • tengrain says:

      Ed –

      My condolences. I’m genuinely sorry for the loss, no snark. I have lots of R&R heroes, and so while I don’t know exactly what you are feeling, I have a lot of sympathy.

      I know that the mantle is picked up by each generation, but there will never be another Chuck Berry. Just like there will never be another Prince, Bowie, Jackson…

      The spark of genius is so rare, it burns so bright for so few people. If there is a lesson, I think it is to appreciate the giants who walk amongst us.




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