by Kurt
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I'm a big Chuck Berry fan...not just the kind that hears a CB song every few years and says "I like Chuck Berry", I listen to him often still and some of his songs are in my Top 100 Most Played on my iTunes.

I've watched some of his more recent videos and he isn't the same. He is getting up there, he's 87 in the video below.

I don't know how to feel about this. On one hand, he is losing it. On the other, he is having fun and the fans seem to appreciate him. But I can't help feeling sad watching him now.

I wanted to post this because so often on this forum, we only pay tribute to those that have died. I wanted to give tribute to CB while he's still with us. He very well may have been the most influential guitar player of all time.

  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Yeah, people "lose it" when they age - and everyone expects someone his age to have lost some of the flame they had while younger.........but.....We still like to go see the great ones perform, first just to see them in person, and second to pay tribute to everything they've given us over the years.
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  • Profile picture of the author Patrician
    CB has to be one of the most under-rated artists who ever lived. Maybe some self-sabotage contributed to that - but people just don't realize he was one of the really first/original rock and roll artists -

    (maybe why he's lived so long - a major consolation prize).

    Keep on Rockin' Chuck Berry!
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  • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
    Many claim the Beatles and/or Stones as being the most influential musical artists of all time, but let's not forget that Chuck influenced them, and many others.

    Another one who's legacy will remain no matter what happens to them physically.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Thanks == that was a blast I needed right now.
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  • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
    One of my fav musical clips with John lennon explaining Chucks' place in music history and the son performing Johnny B. with Chuck.



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  • Profile picture of the author katherineolga
    Chuck Berry is great! I love Johnny Be Good. I am glad he is still out there having fun... but it is quite sad.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jim Gillum
    Saw him live about 1974.....watched from 20 feet away...awesome show....
    Sadly he has changed....

    But the years have a tendency to do that...

    I don't run that fast.....anymore....))
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    What are you talking about? 87 and still rocking?! Looked good to me. My father never even made it to that decade, never mind world-tour rocking stages.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post

      What are you talking about? 87 and still rocking?! Looked good to me. My father never even made it to that decade, never mind world-tour rocking stages.
      Since you missed what I was talking about in my OP, I'll respost this for your convenience:

      I don't know how to feel about this. On one hand, he is losing it. On the other, he is having fun and the fans seem to appreciate him. But I can't help feeling sad watching him now.
      I'm sad because he can't play his guitar "with a ring and a bell" and I'm sad that he can't remember the lyrics to his songs any more. This isn't the only recent video of CB I've watched where he struggles to perform.

      BTW, many people haven't lived to 87, that's not the point.

      Playing music is one of the last things to go and many seniors keep their musical ability throughout their life. BB King is about the same age as CB and still performs at a high level. Les Paul played at a high level into his 90s.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Chck Berry invented rock and roll guitar. His style has been copied by so many, I think at times we forget just how innovative he really was. His style and songs were so popular, he didn't even tour with his own band. He'd just play with local musicians because "everyone" knew Chuck Berry songs, saving him the expenses of traveling with a band.

    I listen to alot of guitar music from this era and no one played guitar like CB before CB.

    He was also a big fan of Nat King Cole and worked hard to enunciate his words fully when singing.

    CB said he wasn't allowed to listen to country music growing up, so he'd listen to the blues radio station during the day, then at night when his parents went to sleep, he'd turn on the country radio station.

    But it's not only his playing. It's also his showmanship. He was the first guitar player that became the "leader of the band" and made electric guitar the focus of rock and roll.

    Maybellene was actually an updated version of an old country song called Ida Red, which was released by Bob Willis and the Texas Playboys in the 1930s.

    If I were to create the Mt. Rushmore of Rock and Roll, it would have Elvis, The Beatles, The Stones and Chuck Berry on it.

    Even though he's lip syncing and his guitar isn't even plugged in, this may be my favorite CB video...he's just soooo cool!



    Meanwhile...I was still thinking...
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Here's a rare instrumental from CB:


    Chuck Berry plays The Blues:
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
    The very first Check Berry video I ever saw - I was 8:

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  • Profile picture of the author AdamYoungpeter
    I cannot support Chuck Berry! He got his sound from a fluke phone call at a high-school dance...

    He should have been thanking his cousin Marvin at every performance for that phone call.

    Without it, he would have never had his sound and he would have been a nobody.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    Chuck Berry comes straight from T-Bone Walker.

    T-Bone Walker- Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong - YouTube

    He could play the guitar just like a ringin' a bell.
    While every player is influenced by those that came before, and CB was definately a fan of T-Bone's, Chuck combined blues and rockabilly and c/w and took it to whole new level.


    BTW, if you're going to post a T-Bone Walker song to try to make a point, you should pick one that actually sounds a little closer to CB, something like Guitar Boogie.

    And, as I posted before "Maybellene" was created directly from Bob Wills' Ida Red, just changing the lyrics and instraments:

    Take T-Bone and The Texas Playboys, mix it up and give it a rock beat and that's Chuck Berry. Here's the original version of Maybellene:

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    • Profile picture of the author rickwill71
      rock and roll never dies
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

      The example I gave didn't show the similarity to Chuck Berry?

      Are you deaf?
      I said "a little closer". Are you illiterate?

      And to deny that CB also has much more country than T-Bone also suggests you have a tin ear. I even posted an example for your convenience.

      But OK, if your point is that Chuck Berry only copied T-Bone Walker and didn't innovate, I'll let folks make up their own mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author Patrician
    yeah kurt ROCK-a-billy - i remember dat.

    but please - chuck berry is a ROCKER. billy or roll!
    he was a cowboy! i just can't put him with C&W in my mind - cowboy is as close as i can spit it out. (i know you are the expert tho')

    (and by the way your original video @ the top makes me really sad. it took a while to sink in - the implications - if he really doesn't realize what is happening?) i was thinking he was just being ornery for the first few hours after watching it. like purposely teasing - never really giving people what they wanted to hear?

    but then my mother is about to turn 90 and she can seem spaced out like that at times (mostly from being over-doped by MDs), and ever the dictator. so is anybody saying he has symptoms of dementia, senility, or Alzhiemers?
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by Patrician View Post

      yeah kurt ROCK-a-billy - i remember dat.

      but please - chuck berry is a ROCKER. billy or roll!
      he was a cowboy! i just can't put him with C&W in my mind - cowboy is as close as i can spit it out. (i know you are the expert tho')

      (and by the way your original video @ the top makes me really sad. it took a while to sink in - the implications - if he really doesn't realize what is happening?) i was thinking he was just being ornery for the first few hours after watching it. like purposely teasing - never really giving people what they wanted to hear?

      but then my mother is about to turn 90 and she can seem spaced out like that at times (mostly from being over-doped by MDs), and ever the dictator. so is anybody saying he has symptoms of dementia, senility, or Alzhiemers?
      One of the big things that really interested the Chess Brothers was Chuck Berry was a black guy that would sing C/W songs. But with "Ida Red", they had CB change the lyrics, instraments, etc. because they didn't want CB to sound too country. Maybellene was CB's first hit, but he originally played it as the country song "Ida Red".
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    I think that all credit for Chuck Berry's music should go to Ludwig Van Beethoven, why not.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Murphy
    Yeah, ol chuck may be getting a bit older and crustier but man...to be having fun, doing what you love and helping people enjoy life more at 89 years old. Pretty awesome.

    Go Chuck Go.
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