Sunday, March 19, 2017

Chuck Berry

I first met Chuck Berry in 1972. Uncle Mike had brought a copy of My Ding-a-Ling into the old barn for Pops to hear, because he thought Pops, his older brother, would think it funny (and because Grandpa Joe was gone). It offered an interesting juxtaposition from their fifties world. But I didn't at the time think it funny on its own terms. I thought it was funny because the adults were laughing at it. It was my first incursion into the adult world.

It was funny. Is funny. Yet it's sad that that was my first memory of Chuck Berry.

Later I bought a single, from the oldies rack at Kresge's, of Maybelline. Later still I found the indescribably fantastic Johnny B. Good. That is a rock anthem. I had truly found Chuck Berry.

It's sad that a novelty song was his first number one hit, because he deserved better. Yet it's also better late than never to be discovered, and so it was for me and Chuck Berry. He loved his music, loved to play his guitar, and always has fun with it, if You Tube is to be believed. And I believe it is.

Rest in peace, Chuck Berry. You are a Rock God.

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