After an illustrious career as one of the most iconic musicians around, this evening we learned that Chuck Berry has passed away at age 90.
While it seems like something small, I remember the moment I learned who Chuck Berry was, and yes, I have to attribute it to Back to the Future. The reality is that he was before my time, but I remember the moment clearly when I realized that some guitar riffs cannot be duplicated. In addition to the hit, “Johnny B. Goode” that Marty McFly performed at the dance, Berry was known for laying down some of the best tracks like “Rock and Roll Music,” “Maybellene” and “Roll Over Beethoven.”
Born in 1926, Berry helped define the Rock ’n’ Roll genre. Combined with being a legendary guitar player, Berry also made his own wobbly walk famous and was included on many Rolling Stone lists of best artists ever. Unfortunately, reports cite that responders were called to Berry’s home in St. Charles County, Missouri earlier this afternoon, where they found him unresponsive. Immediately at the scene, responders pronounced him dead. While no cause of death has been revealed at this time, the St. Charles County Police administered lifesaving techniques and have stated that the “family requests privacy at this time.”
In the wake of this tragic news, the best thing we can do is remember some of our fondest memories. For me, it will always be “Johnny B. Goode.” So here is Mr. Berry, performing live in 1958. And while it may be cliche, let us remember that no hit sounds quite like it to this day. Further, the description for the video appropriately notes:
"Originally released in 1958 and then re-released on Chuck’s 1962 album ‘Twist’, Johnny B. Goode arguably in itself upped the level for Rock music and solidified Chuck Berry’s status as a pioneer."
Check it out:
Unfortunately, 2016 was a particularly tragic year in terms of celebrities we lost, but let’s hope that this trend slows down moving forward.