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Tribute to Chuck Berry

Tribute to Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry appeared in NBC's "Midnight Special" in 1973.

When Chuck Berry's first chess single got here out for the primary time in July 1955, many young individuals – like the young in the heart – turned this Volume dialog north . And lots of others turned it down the street. It was all an indication that something really good occurred.

Berry, who himself described a brown-eyed handsome man from St. Louis, a hot-anchored horrible horn “Ida Red” and competed within the gate “Maybellene”, chess # 1604A. There was a variety of exhausting charging on the guitar, sucking strengthened distortion, after which you'll virtually sink your tooth, and people crazy, funny phrases that have been all on their own – "When I was the engine on the hill …" Chuck Berry didn't declare something lower than guitar-driven rock and roll

During his fourth chess single "Roll Over Beethoven" in Might 56, Berry's type was firmly in. He quoted an intro line from the 1946 Leap-Hit hit "Ain That's Just Like A Lady, performed by one in every of her heroes, Carl Hogan, the guitarist Louis Jordan's Tympany Five champion. Double stops. , aggressive double stops would turn out to be Berry's trademark. Fashionable music – and especially guitar – would never be the same.

Anybody who suspects Be rryn, simply listening to Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins through the Million Greenback Quartet session at Solar Studios in December & # 39; 56; Between their bedrock gospel and country tunes Jerry Lee rises from Berry's September 56th single "Too Much Monkey Business" that evokes Lewis and Elvis to break into "Brown Eyed Handsome Man". Million Greenback Quartet performed what

More proof is that in later years Chuck was not often backed up. Wherever he went to carry out, he simply hired an area band to help him. Everybody, in all places, is aware of his music.

Finally, maintain Berry's March 58 single "Johnny B. Goode" as the one instance of taking Carl Sagan's bedrock and crew on a postcard. the rest of the universe, the Voyager interstellar operation launched in77. It was placed on Bach's Brandenburg live performance, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Stravinsky's Spring Trails, Blind Willie Johnson's "Dark Was The Night", and so-called "ethnic" music all over the world. As Sagan wrote in Berry's 60th birthday in 1986, "Go, Johnny, go." Johnny has since traveled 20 billion kilometers and dropped.

When Berry died on March 18 at residence in Missouri, Ladu, it was not the top of the era. Her legacy lives every time a rock and roll band goes out of the track

Guitar Intoxication

Charles Edward Anderson Berry was born singing. When he says in his 1998 autobiography, he came to this world on October 18, 1926. ”My mom tells me that before I was even dry I had started singing the primary track; I began to cry earlier than the standard spell that brings one to life. ”

Music unfold his childhood. His mother and father have been the grandchildren of the slaves, but the household was now at a comparatively good tempo, his mother being one of many few African-American ladies who had school educating, his father's carpenter and a deacon from their church. "My first memories, though still in your baby crib, are musical sounds – the combined pure harmonies of Baptist churches dominated by my mother's soprano and supported by my father's bass and blending into the confusing rhythms of a true Baptist soul." [19659003] Chuck served as an adolescent for 3 years in Algova's renovation work in reference to armed robbery and automotive abduction, but served many more years with totally different bands, duets, choirs and orchestras. He remembered the early temptation of Rely Basie, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey and Muddy Waters.

Berry in all probability appeared to the public at the Sumner High Faculty talent present, singing the large Jay “Hootie” McShann's “Confess & # 39; The Blues”, together with his good friend Tommy Stevens. Directors endure a raw, low-pitched track, nevertheless it was only for the scholars – early educating Chuck took his coronary heart. And his music debut was additionally favorable in another, perhaps ironic approach. "I think the main result of this performance was the inspiration it gave me to play the guitar," he stated.

Classmate Berry quoted the daddy "abandoned" nelijonoisen tenor guitar and Chuck taught himself how

"I have learned enough Nick Mannaloftin guitar-books, so we could find out the progress of most popular love songs in vocal performances in the backyard," he stated. “A lot of the boys within the neighboring nations received their haircut on the residence of three Harris brothers, the Pat barber, John juicehead and Ira jazzman. Ira was the one who showed me many professional methods to implement the guitar and returned to my ambition to play the instrument. Once I performed Muddy Waters, Tampa Purple, Huge Mace and Little Walter I might shine like a solar…

”The guitar was slowly toxic. Each lips that left my lips appeared nugatory to the strings behind it, so typically I wouldn't sing, it sounded so good. So my choosing up and recording went much quicker than my voice. I used to be learning to play better than I might sing. I typically marvel if I might ever be ok to be knowledgeable musician, but my enthusiasm to date has glad me over future ideas. ”

Berry met Joey's radio nurse. Sherman, a well known local guitarist who played the position of Sacred Coronary heart. Sherman bought his first electric guitar for $ 30, value $ 5 every week; sadly no mannequin exists. “I found a much easier finger on the electric guitar tracks and it was heard throughout the region with an amplifier. It was my first really good looking tool to hold and hold. With its inspiration, I really started to search under all possible conditions to play music. ”

He held an odd job with a carpenter, caretaker, automotive manufacturing unit meeting and educated cosmetologist, supporting his wife Themetta and enjoying music at night time. In 53, Chuck was 27 years previous when he discovered a spot in a jazz / blues band referred to as Sir John Trio, which was preceded by a rocking piano by Johnnie Johnson. Each would work together for decades.

Berry quickly started to take his place alongside Johnson in front of the band, singing in fashion, that he did his greatest when he pulled Nat King Cole & # 39; And their music software program expanded and developed like Chuck's reminiscence. “The sort of music I enjoyed right now and eternally now’s what I heard once I was a youngster. So Carl Hogan, T-Bone Walker, Charlie Christian, and Elmore James' guitar enjoying types that don’t miss lots of my age that I've heard on the street, have to be the entire variety of Chuck Berry's fashion. "

Berry in & # 39; 67: John Peden

Blues was a baby

Berry's first recording session is a part of rock and roll mythology – a prelude that awakens heroic time and place. 39; 55, Berry and Johnson referred to their automotive in Chicago and Chess Data – Muddy Waters' religious residence – hoping to rest on the album. The market for the exceptional sides of Muddy in Chess began to weaken and the label was keen to achieve something new. The story of his own life story is even more enlightening on the junction of music types and the junctions of the competitors at the moment. "Maybellene" was my endeavor to sing from the West, "he remembered – either displaying him one period of the worst or the most effective nation artists.

Berry loved enjoying hills with Sir John Trion for the African American viewers at Cosmopolitan Club within the well-known East St. Louis, a rolling juke-shared river, in Illinois, which did its greatest to put upscale airs.

“Cosmo club players didn't know any words about those songs that gave me the opportunity to improvise and add comic lines to lyrics,” stated Chuck.

So he turned to the "Ida Red" trendy crowd and sooner or later was suggested to change the title of copyright grounds; it came in “Eastern May”. But when he was ready to minimize it, Leonard Chess apprehensive that it was still too shut to the unique. One story tells us that the identify "Maybellene" got here here to Leonard, a Maybelline mascara box in the studio; Nobody remembers how spelling modified, which makes the apocryphal story a taste, especially when Berry says he named the track after the story: very similar to the cats have been referred to as Tom and geese in Donald's youngsters's books, the cows have been all the time in Maybelle. 19659003] Berry minimize "Maybellene" on Johnson's piano, Chess stalwart Willie Dixon's bass, as an alternative of drummer Jasper Thomas, band Ebby Hardy, who didn't make a visit, and Bo Diddley's sideman Jerome Green.

"Maybellene" was one of the first actual rock and roll songs. It had the whole lot – a wild lady who inspired a heartache, a scorching racetrack with arduous Cadillac, twang and swagger … and guitar sound. Simply and admittedly, rock and roll guitar begins right here.

The track additionally marked different beginnings. Alan Freed's pioneering disc jockey had nothing to do with the penning of the track, however he acquired scholarships and royalties towards the radio recreation. It was hardly the first time deejay pocketed “payola”, however when the track bought over one million songs, hitting # 1 on the R&B chart and # 5 on the mainstream pop charts, such author preparations announced early within the yr.

The music additionally marked the top of the blues. They knew little, but Berry soon darkened the recognition of Muddy Waters. Definitely, Muddy continued recording stars and half went on, but the fuse underneath the new youthful viewers was blown. As Muddy stated clearly – little question delight and irony, and yes, unhappiness in his voice – "Blues had a baby and they called it rock and roll."

Like Ringtone

Berry continued to reduce so many pieces that at the moment are modifying "rock and roll" expertise that seem unnecessary to identify them: "Rock and Roll Music", "Sweet Little Sixteen" , "Sweet Little Rock and Roller", "Little Queenie", "Carol", "Reel" and "Rockin", "School Day (Ring! Ring! Going to Bell)", "Back to USA", "Memphis, Tennessee", "Promised Land," "My Ding-a-Ling," and lots of more. that stands out in fact – a music that may be a autobiography, an anthem, and perhaps a bedrock that has been wrapped collectively; "Johnny B. Goode." a historic story – the break-up of the chains and the rise to recognition and redemption, freedom and promise.

Berry remembered the track "… was its birth when the tour brought me to New Orleans, a place I would have liked to visit since I heard the words of Muddy Waters:" Go down in Louisiana, on the best way to the solar. " This inspiration, mixed with the small father's stories and the thrill of seeing my black identify throughout the town in one metropolis, they introduced the slaves by way of, turned to "Johnny B. Goode." "

Berry's ancestors had entered the brand new world in the slave market in New Orleans; later his grandfather lived" back up in the woods among the evergreens. "And Berry's mother predicted great success for her childhood. . It’s comparable to Muddy Waters, who shout "Mannish Boy", "I am the man! No boy! "Ditto Bo Diddley's own" I am the man. "

As Chuck defined in some of his strongest, energetic, and most emotional pieces in his memoirs, “I feel safe to say that no white person can imagine the feeling of getting Caucasian respect for the world of dark denial, simply because it is impossible to look at the dark side in front of glory. "Johnny B. Goode" created all other things and was brought from a modern dark age. By encouraging him, he decided to practice, shadowing himself on the roadside but seeing the glory of his guitar playing. It is likely that you have talent. But will the name and the light come to you? No! You have to go! ”

And he went.

Endlessly Duckwalking

Berry never hung his guitar. Whether or not his early Gibson Les Paul Customized Black Magnificence, his 50-year-old ES-350TNs, or his (because the early 60s) his ES-335 and 355 fashions, he continued to play and continued to tour. In 7979 he appeared to Jimmy Carter on the White Home and noticed his identify within the mild concert halls and stadiums all over the world. From 1996 to 2004, he performed on Wednesday at Blueberry Hill in St. Louis – 209 complete, duckwalking at his remaining present on the age of 85.

On the 90th anniversary of October 2016, Berry introduced that he was ending in a brand new studio disc – his first almost 4 many years. Chuck will probably be released this yr and has new unique songs from Charles Berry, Jr. (guitar) and Ingrid Berry (Harmonica). The album is dedicated to Themetta, Berry's spouse, for 68 years.

"This album is dedicated to dear Todd," Chuck stated when he introduced the album. "My darlin ', I'm older! I have worked with this report for a very long time. Now I can hold footwear!

Bow to the Throne

Gamers, VG Employees Keep in mind Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry was an idol – his affect was monumental. At a really early age, Chuck took me beneath his wings and made me shelter, took me on excursions, showed me the ropes and the way the gang was working. His means was all the time an journey and a whole lot of laughter, and through our 50 years of friendship we by no means had a crossword. The guitarists of the world are indebted to Chuck. Regardless that she's gone, her coronary heart will never be forgotten. Love and miss you, Chuck! – Billy Peek


Chuck Berry, a groundbreaking and creative entertainer admired by tens of millions, leaves plenty of evocative recordings, memorable performances and some bustling guitar pyrotechnics having fun with the lovers and followers of this fascinating American artwork. form, rock and roll. The Chuck Berry phenomenon grew to affect legions around the globe and will certainly keep a long-lasting and powerful place and position among the many massive performers always. Rock is…! – Billy F Gibbons


Once I was a toddler, I noticed this for the primary time on Chuck's tv – I might have been in the Sha Na Na present. He sat and visited guitar kitarastaan, I knew instantly: "This is what I was born to do," From the second I used to be totally obsessive about the guitar. On my 13th anniversary, I used all of my present beam to buy a very horrible Framus copy of Gibson ES-335 as a result of it seemed that Chuck was enjoying on television! Several years later, with the help of my pop, I acquired a '66 335' that was bought for a similar purpose. I still have each immediately! – Deke Dickerson


"Johnny B. Goode" was the primary time I heard an electrical guitar. It was within the eighth grade, and I was tangling my father's uke at that time. This music confirmed me the trail to people music, blues, rhythm blues, earth and rock and roll. I additionally purchased this new ES-335 this yr, but unfortunately I couldn't maintain the fees and the "man he took it back" coin Freddie King. I went to Concord Rocket and went on – for Chuck. – Dan Erlewine


Chuck is the first individual to come to mind once I take into consideration music. Needles where the needle was placed again and still acquired the words incorrect but singing them for 50 years; You then find out the appropriate words and sing the flawed ones. Once I started enjoying music with Spiders, it was people music, but immediately modified to Chuck Berry. And naturally, Chuck's music is people music. – Jay Edwards


I contemplate myself joyful that I separated Chuck Berry from seeing in a live performance only twice, and he was an excellent both occasions. Chuck had a popularity for an exhibition that was a disgrace as a result of he just weakened his own fame as an alternative of displaying that he earned as a lot or greater than anybody aside from King of Rock and Roll's almond

in the early 70's The roll-up revival was a new factor; it lasted so lengthy that the 50s rock came to nostalgia. The exhibition, which I saw at the Oakland Coliseum Area, was produced by Richard Nader. There was Freddie Cannon, Del Shannon, Coasters, Bobby Day, Fleetwoods – perhaps a dozen are working – Chuck Berry closing. Issues have been late they usually gave Chuck a surgery, however he went on. Ultimately they turned the lights on when Chuck made "Wee Wee Hours". He improvised the verse – "Well, they have turned the lights on and it's time to go / So" Wee Wee Hours "must close our little show" deserves walking on the whole stage. ”

Another show on the Stanford Frost Amphitheater Chuck opened Elvin to Bishop and had the advantage of using Bishop's top-of-the-line employees. , with their very own nuances, Rick Vito is the perfect, what I heard Chuck's right-and "Maybellene" continues to be the primary one rock-guitar historical past, the votes of his phrase games influenced by Dylan, the Seashore Boysiin and the Beatles in the same method as his guitar enjoying contributed Stone THIRD, Johnny Winter and Hendrix… For me, he stands alone in the same approach as Django Reinhardt stands in jazz – as Django, more than half a dece During his father's time, countless guitarists aren’t just absorbed by his influence, they are making an attempt to get every riff downward Chuck performed it. – Dan Forte


Countless writers and speaking masters have rumored how Berry included his country-western music. They are, in fact, right, but what about his dense storytelling? Within the mid-50s or in the long run, none of the rock, rollabilly or R&B works did it in an imaginative method. He had no-bop-a-Lula stuff, great and primal. Relatively, "Maybellene" is the right story in three verses; he attracts curiosity by beginning the choir. Once I hear this music, I see a shadow-mechanic hot-rodded Ford that collects a custom Caddy. And the metaphor is clear, but extremely clever. In truth, there may be two prolonged metaphors. Plus, see the language; “Rainwater blowing under“ The Hood ”is just one example of Berry's format to element. Perhaps he acquired this data from Fisher Physique.

If good writing is in the verb, it doesn't get a lot better than "motivated." it’s clear why he went to the eight notes within the bar and doubled the stroke. Additionally it is fascinating that he had a business sense to write to youngsters, the demographics he knew he bought. That's how the 29-year-old came to write rock poems like "School Days".

Dylan and Beatles get numerous credit from the "songwriter era" of guided rock, but how long it might have been and how it will have been without Berry's affect with out displaying how far the evergreen genre like rock and roll might go ? For instance, "Memphis" and "Never Can Tell" payments are written units. It’s no coincidence that the good songwriters and deeds reminiscent of John Prine, Waylon Jennings, Faces, Bruce Springsteen and Ronnie Lane coated these songs 10 years later.

Additionally it is virtually incomprehensible that Berry didn’t really write “My Ding Ling,” considered one of his newest singles and his unbelievable primary, because such a putting double competitor and prolonged metaphor continued the good blues tradition and positively contributed to Bon Individuals like Scott. – Dennis Pernu


Once I last noticed Berry's look was B.B. King in Manhattan, New Yr's Eve 2012. His guitar was typically tuned, forgotten lyrics, and he hit the bounces. Although weak in the 86s, his legendary performance shone – he even tried to give up.

Like most early guitarists, I observed that studying the progress of ordinary I-IV-V chords gave me the chance to play an infinite variety of rock songs. In fact, Berry's songs have been probably the most enjoyable, particularly once they heard the famous riffs.

I had the distinction to interview her and had to spend a short while again. Though his fame was to be unhappy, he couldn't have been more snug – gracious and charming. I requested if he was going to trigger a photo with me. He was all the time the man's man who demanded that the lady I was with was between us so he might visit him. My good friend, Jeff, who witnessed this, was an enormous Berry admirer, but a extra passionate Beatles fan. He later advised me that "you shook a hand that shook John Lennon's hand!" – Elliot Stephen Cohen


Berry's influence was so in depth that it’s arduous to think about a dwelling who has not heard his tone. Although they’ve by no means heard the whole album or seen him stay or on the radio or TV, so many performers have recorded and carried out in a track that they are deeply rooted in our culture. I've by no means seen him reside, but saw him on television and heard him on the radio, and I have seen and heard bluegrass Group, Jim and Jesse will name. In reality, they made Berry Pickin's whole bluegrass album. – George Gruhn


Each of us has touched Chuck's music; all of us have our own story. A young man in Louisville, Kentucky, I was lucky to have an older brother who, along with a cousin who lived with us at that time, introduced residence the finest data. At some point I got here across my brother "Johnny B. Gooden" 45 on the back "Around & Around". Listening to the intro "Johnny B. Goodelle" sent a lightning via my soul. If this intro doesn’t touch you, one thing is flawed. As with all younger guitarist who grew up within the 1960s, my argument was "Johnny B. Goode" and then The Beatles, Stones and later Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and lots of others. However on this deadly day, once I first put "Johnny B. Goode" on the turntable, I was baptized with one thing that has stayed with me all through my life. – Greg Martin


Once I noticed the news from Chuck, I might assume that now rock and roll is basically lifeless. But I'm glad that I used to be right here for the time when it was dealing with up and kicked. Probably the most thrilling, revealing things the world ever knows. Chuck Berry was rock and roll. – G.E. Smith


The first time I was in a position to play rock and roll collection was once I started learning these great intro and solos from Chuck Berry's data. It reached the circle of pals and listened to new data to see who Berry was appearing on and take great pleasure in it. To today, I have drawn mass beets guitarists who combine Berry's eggs in their very own fashion. These double stops tell me a lot more about rock-and-roll than albums which are filled with energy pins, hammer ons and taps.

Though there were a variety of pioneers, Berry's sounds sounding in guitar (and lyrics usually are not great) are building blocks for what a rock-roll ought to be. – John Heidt


Once I first heard of "Maybellene", I couldn't get enough. It was new, however it seemed all the time there, because it should have been – inevitable. One night time in 65 Sidetrack Coffee Home Chuck paid us a visit. Wasn't, just stopped. He was a gracious, snug go well with and all. I keep in mind shaking his hand, considering, "His fingers are so long, it's no wonder he's playing so well."

We beloved his music, and when the cafe-folk music started to "go into electricity", we went right into his playbook. John Hammond had a version referred to as "Nadine". Play Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" again with Chuck's "Too Much Monkey Business". See what I mean? Parallel combined word games and music can’t be denied.

Fortuitously, we now have lived our time. His music made it better for us all. You still can't get sufficient stuff. – John Peden


Chuck confirmed us all the guitarists what you can do whenever you simply play the best notes on the right time to create the correct temper. She created a trendy and stylish type that was immediately uncooked, elegant and excellent. His play determined the genre after the current blast. He is likely one of the most necessary rock-and-roll architects, practitioners and unique evil boys. Long Lasting Chuck Berry! – Joe Satriani


Once I spent years in design underneath the supervision of a late Johnnie Johnson-Chuck piano player and rock-and-Hall Corridor of Fame, I had many meetings with Mr Berry. Some good, some dangerous – all memorable. We discovered to love Chuck unconditionally and in return for all this, he gave us a guitarist, songwriter, singer, performer, and – above all – a road poet who was in touch with the era. Without him there isn’t any rock-and-roll, no Beatles, no Stones, and more importantly, no Dylan. And he knew it.

Goodbye, brown eyed good-looking man. Certainly you live eternally. – Jimmy Vivino


Rock and roll is now formally lifeless. John Lennon stated it greatest; "If rock and roll had another name, it would be called" Chuck Berry "." Chuck, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison introduced us a number of million "promised land". This praised perch turned Beatles, Stones, Who, Zep, Floyd, Queen, AC / DC (just some names) to kiss ft and take lessons that have enriched tons of of tens of millions of lives.

The pillars of your guitar fashion have been Albert Collins, Mike Bloomfield, Eric Clapton, and Chuck. The first discovered the guitar solo Berry's "Down The Road apiece" event got here virtually every sooloani that I have ever written.

From the moment I heard the intro of "school days" that blasted my father's radio station in 1957, by way of all the guitar instruments, Johnny B. Goode, the grasp course and persevering with the blue blues-shaped riff "Down The Road …", Chuck was for me and tens of millions!

But he was a lot more than a guitar genius. He was a writer of extremely small, emotional lyricism, notion, humor, and wonder, given the inter-racial relationships that exist in the USA in the 50s. More importantly, his lyrics have been born into the primary era colorful world of rebellious youngsters, automobiles and women; Pay attention to the "Promised Land" with lyrics written perfectly like all rock and roll track, encapsulating humor and statement in nine brief verses. – J. J. French


I didn't come to the guitar by way of rock and roll. However when inevitably handed by way of the rock, I met – like virtually everyone else – the music of Mr Chuck Berry. Hän edusti monin tavoin rock-perpetual-nuorekkaan eulelenssin ydinä, joka ajaa älykkäitä, tarttuvia sanoituksia, jotka olivat täynnä loistavia ja bluesia kitarariffejä. Aina kun kuulin hänet, se sai minut hymyilemään. Se on noin yhtä hyvä muistomerkki, joka voisi toivoa pitkää elämää. Kiitos hymyistä, Chuck! – Michael Wright


Chuck oli punk ennen punkia. Hän oli rock and roll. True outlaw. Todellinen legenda. Hän inspiroi sankareitani, ja kun historian opetus oli toteutunut, siitä tuli sankari kasan yläosassa. Hänellä oli nuolet. Hänellä oli kävely. Hän kertoi tarinoita. Ja kun sain vähän makua rock-and-roll -liiketoiminnan puolelta, hän inspiroi bändin nimeni. Minun valtavaa velkaa hänelle ei koskaan makseta kokonaan. Levätköön hän rauhassa. – Keith Nelson


Chuck oli päällikkö ja hartiat ennen kaikkea – ensimmäinen inspiraationi kitaran soittamiseen oli "Johnny B. Gooden" kuuleminen radiossa; Minulla oli kitara, joka oppi, mitä hän teki. Ja nämä sanat – niin totta ja runollisia – vangitsivat tunteet, joita meillä kaikilla oli. Tytöt ja autot ja kitarat.

Olin onnekas, että muutama vuosi sitten vietin hieman pukuhuoneessa, kun Heartbreakers jakoi laskun hänen kanssaan. Tuo yö oli ylevä. As he played his means offstage to a standing ovation, he stopped on each step, seemed on the crowd, and played them a lick, turning to the gang every few steps as he exited the room. Simple rock and roll heaven.

He was so gracious to my wife and I, smiling and laughing and taking pics with us. If I get caught working on a solo, I all the time stop and assume, “What would Chuck Berry do here?” And that is the key to tuning into the true supply of guitar soul. He’s the king and all the time shall be. I miss him dearly, but the music is all the time here; thank God for that and thank God for him. Sweet travels, Chuck. You’re all the time with us. – Mike Campbell


Berry’s musical aesthetic and persona offered the world with the connective tissue between rhythm and blues, country-western, and rock and roll. He was a maverick, a poet, an entrepreneur, and an outlaw who didn’t endure fools gladly. He left a towering musical legacy inside a hostile racial setting, finally turning into an iconoclastic songwriter and probably the most appropriated guitarist on the planet. – Oscar Jordan


If not for Chuck Berry, we might all be enjoying major scales on acoustic guitars whereas standing nonetheless onstage with a way-too-short haircut. He was an explosion of freedom. – Steve Vai


The Kingston Trio inspired me to play and sing, however by 1963, I used to be over people. Enjoying in a university band, I coated as many Chuck Berry hits as I might – they have been great songs. Chuck was prime of his class in singer/songwriter excellence, and astute at composing through the use of hybrid blues/jazz/nation licks. He virtually invented rock guitar. My present band still performs several Berry tunes and the revelers love them. – Gil Hembree


Yes, Chuck Berry was arguably probably the most influential rock-and-roll guitarist, however it was his songwriting that introduced him immortality. I’d even venture to say he was the actual “king” of rock-and-roll, as his songs have been coated by all the genre’s icons – Buddy Holly, The Beatles, The Stones, Jimi – just about everyone! Chuck’s riffs turned the words used within the language of rock-and-roll, and his sensible lyrics painted detailed footage of American culture, bringing us Technicolor in an age of black and white. – Tom Guerra


Once I noticed The T.A.M.I. Present in 1964, I used to be accustomed to Berry’s hits from the radio. But the film underscored the “I wanna play guitar and be a rock star” mentality of untold numbers of juvenile boys who’d skilled an epiphany when the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan earlier that yr. Jan and Dean introduced Berry as the first act, calling him, “The guy who started it all back in 1958.” Then, he traded songs with Gerry & the Pacemakers; the picture of his lanky frame bending and contorting with the music while evoking these brilliant, chugging riffs from a Gibson ES-350T was burned into my thoughts. – Willie G. Moseley


This article originally appeared in VG June 2017 challenge. All copyrights are by the writer and Classic Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.