March 19, 2017

Chuck Berry: You were a magnificent mean weird wonderful hack genius AMERICAN.

Chuck Berry's dead. He was 90. Bonne chance at Saint Peter's gate, Chuck, you're going to need it. You were a magnificent mean weird wonderful hack genius AMERICAN.

He was all those things, surely. He wasn't American. He was AMERICAN. Only America could possibly produce him. The rest of the world loved him, as you can see by watching this video from France in 1965. Europe loved him, but they could never cobble a guy like that together. The important part of his career was already over when this video was made, though few knew it at the time, including Chuck. Europe was already an off Broadway production.

Europeans sent us a bronze broad to stand in the granite harbor outside Ellis Island. It was allegedly a gift, but I suspect they sent it so they'd have something familiar to look at after they bolted the doors on their dusty museum of cultures and fled. We sent them Chuck Berry records in return as a way to show them This is how we roll. ..... To Europe, America has always been a bad man. The pecksniff attitude their governments have always heaped on us has a dash of cowardice in it. Chuck was a bad man. It made him all the more American to a toff, I imagine. I don't mean he was a bad man in just the figurative sense, though. Chuck was a real live criminal. If you read Chuck's bios, you're bound to find fans desperately trying to pooh-pooh his criminal background. The gun he used in a carjacking was broken, so it doesn't matter........ RTWT, no, READ THE WHOLE THING AT Sippican Cottage: Chuck Berry Has No Particular Place To Go ... BECAUSE.... Sipp knows.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 19, 2017 10:35 AM
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One of the few rockers I knew of contemporaneously, and about the only one I would stop and listen to when the kids played rock. Especially Maybellene.

Posted by: BillH at March 19, 2017 1:51 PM

That has to be the best obituary we're likely to see about Chuck Berry. Makes me glad that Sippican Cottage is back.

Makes me miss the Rumford Meteor, however. The link is still there at Sippican Cottage, but the site hasn't updated since last June. Does anyone know what happened to him? Hope he's alright.

Posted by: Monty James at March 19, 2017 2:36 PM

Saw him the summer of '80 at Knotts Berry Farm.

Posted by: ghostsniper at March 19, 2017 5:53 PM

I saw him at Fillmore West, during the "My Ding-A-Ling" tour. He did a good show, although he didn't seem crazy about doing the old stuff. I like to think of his music, going out on that exploratory space craft. NASA seemed to think of his music as the ultimate American experience.

Posted by: Teri Pittman at March 19, 2017 8:50 PM
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