Nick Bollinger discusses the swansong of rock’n’roll founding father Chuck Berry.
It’s not exaggerating to say that without Chuck Berry there could hardly have been a Beatles or a Rolling Stones – or not in an form we’d recognise.
Even AC/DC built their edifice on Chuck Berry’s foundations – while lyricists from Dylan to Springsteen learned how to make words sing from Mr Berry.
His songs weren’t just the definition rock’n’roll – they were a celebration of rock’n’roll and the freedom it represented.
The kid in ‘School Days’ waiting for three o’clock so he can get down to the juke joint.
Or Johnny B Goode – the country boy whose guitar is going to take him out of rural Louisiana and put his name in lights.
‘I’m gonna write a little letter gonna mail it to my local deejay/it’s a rockin’ rhythm record I want my jockey to play.’
He loved language and no one wrote rock’n’roll lyrics that rolled better off the tongue.