The day Rock ‘n’ Roll Died


“If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’.” – John Lennon

In the song American Pie, Don McLean describes the day the music died with the death of Buddy Holly, “And the three men I admire most, The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast, The day the music died”. Saturday, the father of Rock ‘n’ Roll died with the death of Chuck Berry. “Way back in history three thousand years, In fact every since the world began, There’s been a whole lot of good women sheddin’ tears, For a brown eyed handsome man, It’s a lot of trouble was brown eyed handsome man.”

In 1979 I was an eighteen year old in love with all things The Beatles, The Rolling  Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin. These four bands had one master, one man, three chords, eight or nine licks, that brought them to the pinnacle of success, Chuck Berry. Chuck was in town and I had to see him. “Long distance information, give me Memphis Tennessee, Help me find the party trying to get in touch with me, She could not leave her number, but I know who placed the call, ‘Cause my uncle took the message and he wrote it on the wall.”

The venue was small and cozy. The promoter had to provide Mr. Berry with a drummer and bassist, two local kids that knew his catalog. He would show up with his Gibson Guitar, a suitcase and would play after he was paid first. Naturally, the 8  o’clock show started a little late. At nine Chuck hit the stage, played for an hour or so and then left but what I got to see and hear was the beginning, where the music started. It is a sound that resonates today, the framework, the beat, the foundation of every note ever played on rock radio. This was the man who, in my opinion, invented rock music. “I’ve got no kick against modern jazz, Unless they try to play it too darn fast; And change the beauty of the melody, Until they sounded like a symphony, That’s why I go for that, Rock And Roll Music …”

His was the story of the blues, a black man playing music to white kids. A journey of racism, injustice, hate, cheating and in the end worship, worship as a god, an idol, a poet, a master of a six string instrument played like no one else could. “Well, if you feel you like it, go get your lover, then reel and rock it, Roll it over and move on up just, a trifle further and reel and rock it, roll it over, Roll Over Beethoven rockin’ in two by two.”

There are few that exist among us that have actually changed the world, Chuck Berry changed the world, he changed the world of music, he changed my world, and our world will never be the same. “He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack, Or sit beneath the tree by the railroad track. Oh, the engineers would see him sitting in the shade, Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made. The people passing by, they would stop and say, “Oh, my, but that little country boy could play!”

About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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10 Responses to The day Rock ‘n’ Roll Died

  1. vickgoodwin says:

    Great tribute to a great singer and truly the father of rock and roll.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. manqindi says:

    Roll over Beethoven – tell Tschaikovsky the news: Johnny B Goode is on his way to shake the tree of Heaven!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Duck walkin’ all the way to the Pearly Gates.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I sat in the dark listening to all his greats, the memories rushed back, life goes in chapters and that one has ended on earth and dancing in heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Patty says:

    He was indeed a great inspiring man. Beautiful tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Blogroll | JamBlogMan

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