I was saddened to hear that the great Chuck Berry passed away recently at the age of 90. What a run! A true pioneer not only for guitar players but for popular music in general.
As a blues/early rock musician, Chuck’s influence on me was greater than I thought. As a guitar player, his style was exciting but still accessible. It was the energy and showmanship that hooked me. As a lyricist, Chuck wrote with more depth and character than his contemporaries. He still wrote about things kids could related to – cars, girls and school but it was so much more than that.
I read his autobiography years ago and gained a greater insight into the man and the obstacles he had to overcome. Sure, he had some detours that took him down the wrong path, but when you are living life and taking chances, you’re bound to make mistakes that you hopefully learn from.
Despite his periodic troubles and the fickle tastes of listeners, Chuck persevered over the years. In fact, he had completed a final album before his death! Thankfully, it will be released in June of 2017.
I’m looking forward to new music by Chuck and I’m hopeful that new generations will discover his music, his lasting legacy and they will be inspired to keep making music and sharing music as Chuck did.
Long Live Rock ‘N Roll!