Count me among the many whose earliest experience with music was courtesy of Chuck Berry. I think it was “Roll Over Beethoven.” Perhaps it was my personal rebellion against the symphony performances that my parents dragged me to attend. I’ve come to enjoy the symphony in the years since but, at the time, the lyric “Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news” really spoke to me. And the rock and roll bug has been with me ever since.
The past week has been filled with stories that document the pioneering spirit that he brought to music and the attitude (and sometimes disturbing behavior) that surrounded his life. The stories make clear that he was far from easy going, as the clip below of Keith Richards talking about Chuck’s “biggest hit” demonstrates.
My appreciation of Berry’s music moved through the obvious hits and eventually settled on “You Never Can Tell.” Here’s that number from a 1972 performance in Germany along with a complete 1972 UK performance. Plus the aforementioned Keith Richards clip.
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.