Chuck Berry, the innovator, the pioneer, the legend, the founding father of rock and roll has died at the age of 90.
He was the architect of the 12 bar Blues, the only rock musician to have his song sent into outer space and of course, the inventor of the legendary duck walk. He inspired generations and his music will live on forever.
Like Little Richard was to Bowie, Chuck Berry was to Jagger. It was his poetic lyrics and his relentless electric guitar riffs, which crafted the way and formed a path for bands like the Rolling Stones, to evolve out of the 60s and continue to rock throughout the ages. He never stopped touring and was performing right through to his final days.
In the words of John Lennon, “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.”
The songs he wrote painted an everlasting picture of the 1950s youth and their rebellious charm. It was this defiance and daring character which saw Chuck through his career.
At the age of 18 he was jailed for ‘petty robbery’. Later on in life he was found guilty of taking a 14 year old girl across the state line and in 1959, he was held for trying to date a white woman.
It’s these experiences that have allowed him to produce material that are so engraved in pop culture, which releases like ‘Never Can Tell’ are anthems to hit films and are still exciting people today.
He built the bridge between blues and rock, and even though he only had a single number one hit, with his cover of Dave Bartholomew’s ‘My Ding-a-Ling’, he managed to shape the world of music leaving behind timeless classics that will never grow old.
Rest in Peace Chuck Berry, we hope you duck walked right through those pearly gates of heaven.