Sunday, 19 March 2017

RIP Chuck Berry

I was saddened to hear Chuck Berry had died. Admittedly, all the music of his that I listen to is from the 1950s and 1960s, but still, there's such joy in it. Chuck Berry's music is something I reckon everyone could do with now and again, even if they don't realise it.

Despite not being a teenager when he brought out his best-known records, there's still something about them that captures the happiness of being young, that time when you have less to care about yet somehow everything matters so much more. As I age, I simultaneously mourn the passing of youthful passion and drive, and am glad it's gone because if I had to care about work and my mortgage and the state of the world in the way I once got annoyed at people's perceptions of goths and not being able to find the right sort of boots, I'd be an emotional wreck. Chuck Berry seemed able to recapture that youthful drive in his music - listen to the utter frustration at not being able to make out with his girlfriend because of a broken seatbelt in 'No Particular Place To Go' and tell me that isn't the very essence of being a teenager right there.

So, don't rest in peace, Chuck Berry: wherever you are, I hope it's got guitars and diners and seatbelts that work properly. And your music is out there somewhere on the Voyager spacecraft, so wherever it is, it could well outlast our whole planet.

11 comments :

  1. What a lovely eulogy, Mim.

    I agree, his music is joyful and I love it. The sort that will always get people up to dance...

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    1. No-one can be miffed when listening to Chuck Berry. He makes us all young!

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  2. The energy in the early stuff is incredible. Last night we listened to a live album from the mid '50s and were struck with how gritty and garagey it sounded. Great stuff. We also watched the film 'Cadillac Records' to mark Chuck's passing.

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    1. Yes, there's a rawness to his stuff that I find really appealing. I don't like my rock music over-polished.

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  3. That's a lovely piece of writing, Mim.
    I thought Chuck Berry had died years ago - shows what I know. I remember Keith Richards citing him as an enormous influence on the Rolling Stones' music so, for that, I'm eternally grateful. xxx

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    1. Can't beat a bit of early Stones. I wonder if Berry and Richards ever hung out?...

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  4. Hear, hear! He was a true legend and a rock 'n roll pioneer. I always think it must have been really exciting being a teenager back then. xxx

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    1. I think it must have been exciting, but for women ultimately frustrating. I can't imagine what it would be like to live in a time where I was expected to be married with several kids by the age of 25 and that was the sum total of my existence.

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  5. And now the young monsieur and madame have rung the chapel bell,
    "C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell!

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  6. I was shocked to read of his passing. There aren't many left now from that era, which saddens me deeply.

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