It’s 01:46, March 19 and I have finally turned on social media to find that Chuck Berry has died, The father of rock and roll, the man responsible for arguably the greatest genre of music of all time has left this world. He died on March 18th and I don’t know what to say. He was a pioneer, with his ‘dangerous’ music dominating the period, along with Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis, lighting up the 1950’s with a beat that you just couldn’t help dance too; breaking down barriers and tearing down walls of segregated America; blurring the lines between coloured and white music. He influenced artists such as John Lennon, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones, paving the way for the music we have now. Taylor Momsen of the Pretty Reckless wrote in her post to remember the great man.
“When I was just a little girl in St. Louis my father took me down to the Loop and we saw Chuck Berry at Blueberry Hill, officially making it my first rock and roll concert. I must have been only five or six years old, but the memory will stay with me forever.”
You can hear the influence Berry has had too on her, with The Pretty Reckless, Momsen fronts latest album, Who you selling floor in intrenched in classic, southern rock influences. No matter where you start from the Berry collection form the song The Beatles opened with at their first US concert was ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ to Johnny B. Goode where they emulated that opening guitar rift for their own Revolution, the music hold up to classic rock and roll. John Lennon said it best “If you tried to give Rock’n’Roll another name, you’d call it Chuck Berry.” Lennon’s statement hold weight as even after The Beatles and his move to New York he would still play the classic of his youth. Although I have personally listen to a lot of Berry’s work, in fact only a handful of songs I do not intended to jump on the R.I.P post train, however I am well a where that this is a passing of legend so I would like to say Thank you for the music. – A
Cover Image: Clash Magazine
Taylor Momsen quote from her social media post (can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.)