I've been home for a couple of days with a cold/flu/allergy/small pox ... whatever ... so I've had time to get back to writing posts for my blog.
To those who actually read my posts (all three of you), I apologize.
As you probably know, Chuck Berry died a few weeks ago. He was 90 years old and one of the most talented musician/ songwriters ever. "He could play a guitar just like ringin a bell." Of course I would defer to the best guitar players I know ... Mike and George ... to verify Chuck's guitar abilities but I think it's safe to say he was a pioneer in creating the sound we hear today in music.
As my own tribute to the man, I've been listening to his tunes back and forth from work. Since I'm on the road for a good 3 hours a day ... this gives me plenty of time to appreciate his legacy.
Chuck had limited experience playing guitar back then but his voice and personality and writing ability immediately made him a force to be reckoned with. He wrote Maybelline and the Chess Brothers signed him as a solo act. Apparently, he took over the band soon afterward because ... as Johnnie said, "We could get better jobs with Chuck running the band. He had a car and rubber wheels beat rubber heels any day."
Chuck wrote Johnnie B. Goode as a tribute to Johnson referring to Johnnie's behavior when he was drinking. Chuck was a tough leader and insisted the band not drink in the car on the way to jobs. The band complied by sticking their heads out of the window when they were drinking.
I remember seeing Chuck in concert in the early eighties in St. Pete at the groundbreaking of Tropicana Dome. Started out with that famous lick on his guitar ... and then ... he stopped dead in his tracks, staring at someone in the crowd. "If you take your camera out one more time while I'm playing, I'll leave and never come back."
He knew what he wanted.
His lyrics are some of the best ever written. My all time favorite: