Monday, 10 January 2011



Woman on a Raft said...

Best Wishes to Chuck Berry who at 84 is refusing to take it easy and managed to over-work himself at a New Year's day gig in Chicago.

He had previously played TWO New Year's Eve shows in New York, then had trouble with the connecting flights. The stress and the exhaustion affected his performance the next day, which had to be cut short.

Berry is recuperating in his home in St Louis and is said to be well but a little tired.

call me ishmael said...

We must hope that he dies, mrs woar, performing Roll Over Beethoven to a full house.

There was a tedious evening on BBC 4 the other night, devoted to Mr Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers, during which the great guitarists were mentioned, Hari Georgeson, Keef and mr The Edge being cited, honest, as the greats; not a mention of Chuck Berry, the first singer songwriter, the first guitar hero. But then Chuck's a nigger.

Later, it is true, in another Petty programme, one of his guitar pickers mentioned Chuck, in passing, but only with reference to him aping Chuck's style for a few bars.

Isn't it all just so cool that rock'n'roll developed into stuff like REM with that whining git who looks like he just stepped out of Belsen and Tom Teeth Petty and U fucking 2?

I was wondering, watching Petty pushily overdramatising his meagre art, if he was related to fellow Texan, Norman Petty, who so cruelly ripped-off young Buddy Holly, whilst managing him. Anybody know?

banned said...

I've been a fan of Chuck Berry since before I can remember, I've seen a few vids of him playing with Keith Richards but mostly in the studio.

@WoaR, old age may well excuse short sets these days but the one time I saw Chuck live was in about 1979 at the Rainbow north London; his set lasted precisely 35 minutes and no encore. I carried on buying his stuff in all sorts of formats but never went to his concerts again.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, mr banned, his concerts have not served his reputation, short and sloppy, that's why Keef struggled to get that show together, with a well-rehearsed band, so there might be a decent concert for posterity.

Way back in this blog I posted Too Much Monkey Business alongside Subterranean Homesick Blues, most know of Chuck's influence on the Beatles and the Stones et al, but even Dr Bob Dylan, my Highlands neighbour, owes him one. Or several. Not that he would own-up to it, of course; way too cool for that, silly old fart.

Dick the Prick said...

@banned, i've been to see Gil Scott Heron 5 times and the chap's never showed up. The scag doesn't smoke itself I suppose.

Agatha said...

When I was a child I was keen on childish things, as St. Paul has it (Corinthians, 13), but, hey, when I grew up, I put away childish things. Probably not the most popular thing to say, but what is it with grown ups, middle-aged persons, even, that they continue to be interested in ephemeral pop music designed for teenagers. This has to be the musical equivalent of adults reading J.K. Roslings' Potter ouevre.
What do you expect, for pity's sake, the guy's like a hundred years old and probably wants to be left alone to grow up on his way to the care home.

Agatha said...

J.K. Rowlings, for pity's sake. Beg pardon. Typo.

Agatha said...

J.K. Rowlings, for pity's sake. Beg pardon. Typo.

mongoose said...

Ah, but, Agatha, some is ephemeral and some eternal. Yes, much is unfathomable and indeed not worth the fathoming. A friend of mine is madly, deeply into rap music. I confess that it is all the same to me - a dreary but snappy and angry doggerel - but perhaps that is because I do not "get" it.

Much of this informal music but leaves marks in the margins of life. Occasionally though it creeps across onto the page itself. I am too yuong to have caught on to the great originators. A punk is what I am. Silly arse that I am still but incredible times I've had. Incredible things I've witnessed. Saint Richard in a room this size and twenty of us to hear him. Saint Gone Mad Joni in the wilderness of the NEC. Crazy Bob at Wembley for God's sake. Loudon Wainwright 99th at the Half Moon. Ska bands by the hundred in shebeens all over the Midlands. Crazy Louise yelling out in the Cathedral. All those nights deafened in the Timepiece. Who had the one-armed drummer? I forget. "Sure, the fucker's only got one arm. Let's make him the drummer." You could not make it up. (Fortunately, I think that everyone has forgotten about the Suzanne Vega gig. Ssshh! I may have escaped. That truly would be a Corinthians moment.)