Chuck Berry, one of my favorites BUUUT

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by 5120mantis, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. 5120mantis

    5120mantis Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2011
    It always seemed enigmatic, legendary preformer, using pickup bands (ok, watched a johnny carson interview and seems chuck didnt want band members due stereotypical habits, i e drugs/drinking)
    I never understand why he was always changing keys during performances and seems to play blatantly out of tune at times...
    Also, i fofget if there is a shot of the drummer in this clip, but through the entire show he looks MISERABLE!!

    I know Chuck got burnt on deals and such and had a big chip on his shoulder about certain things, ironic since his music is pretty upbeat.
    Great songs, strange idiosyncrasies
    JeffreyLeePierre and stevo like this.
  2. dlew919

    dlew919 Synchromatic

    Jul 18, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    Chuck I think got bitter and complacent. Yes, he as much as anyone invented rock and roll. And yes, he got screwed over. Not just monetarily, but legally, socially, culturally, the lot. As a result, he didn’t care.

    Never met you heroes.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  3. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    He punched Keith Richards! Never meet your heroes, indeed....

  4. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    If I recall correctly, Angus Young patterned his solos from Chuck Berry.
    5120mantis and dlew919 like this.
  5. Butch Ammon

    Butch Ammon Gretschie

    Jan 3, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    Agreed... Chuck Berry was legendary and one of the main ingredients to rock 'n roll. What essentially happened is that Chuck invented a style that laid the foundation of rock as we know it today. EVERYBODY adopted it, widely copied it, imitated it, used it, etc... and in the end, Chuck got a little bitter because he never went after publishing rights or copyrights or whatever for his "lick". It was too late by then, and he got screwed over by the entire world.

    Sorry, Chuck! :oops:
    RomanS and 5120mantis like this.
  6. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    If that's why he got bitter, it disappoints me.
    manunk, Butch Ammon and 5120mantis like this.
  7. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Walk a mile in another mans shoes. People are who and how they are as a result of the life they’ve led. I’m sure Mr Berry was bitter about more than his lick being stolen. Imagine being that man in that region in that time period enduring his personal injustices daily. I would imagine over time that yes, it forms a chip on your shoulder.

    He was a major disappointment to me in that I LOVE his music and believe he had incredible talent inside of him that he refused to cultivate. Imagine if he’d actually spent more time truly learning his instrument/playing in tune/pursuing a premium live product etc. He had so much MORE in him, and just chose to be lazy and sloppy instead. I love Chuck Berry.
  8. S.R.Cash

    S.R.Cash Gretschie

    Aug 29, 2019
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm sure everyone gets screwed over for one or many things along the way. I see it as, when all this was happening, crowds got bigger and stars got brighter, plus all the 'payola' thing with almost everyone. Imagine the fun that gets sucked out of it all when what you enjoy becomes a 24/7 job, and when you want a night to sit and be creative but there's 2 audiences waiting to hear whats already been done.
    Butch Ammon and 5120mantis like this.
  9. 5120mantis

    5120mantis Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2011
    The whole out of tune and key changing mystifies me, i assume he did it just to mess with the other musicians in his pickup bands.
    In the immortal words of the man himself
    " dont touch my amp!"
    Also i dont agree with the never meet your heroes statement entirely, im sure it applies to some including Berry, but i been fortunate to cross paths with a few you have been quite friendly .
    dlew919 likes this.
  10. Rusty Silver

    Rusty Silver Gretschie

    I can only say that Chuck's guitar riffs are the reason that makes me play rock'n'roll.
  11. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    It may not have been all music that made him bitter. According to Carl Perkins sho knew him personally he noticed he had changed after jail time. Think of the great music we lost during those twenty months. I don’t really know the whole story and maybe there is truth to it. But I bet certain groups of people were out to get him for being black and making rock n’ roll music that their daughters were listening to. Below is copied from online with Carl Perkins quotes.

    On December 23, 1959, Chuck Berry is arrested in St. Louis, Missouri, on charges relating to his transportation of a 14-year-old girl across state lines for allegedly “immoral purposes.”

    “Never saw a man so changed,” is how the great Carl Perkins described the experience of touring England in 1964 alongside Chuck Berry. “He had been an easygoing guy before, the kinda guy who’d jam in dressing rooms, sit and swap licks and jokes. [But] in England he was cold, real distant and bitter.” The “before” to which Perkins referred was the four-year period from 1956 to 1959, when Berry established his reputation as one of rock and roll’s founding fathers, not only turning out such classic hits as “Maybellene” and “Johnny B. Goode,” but also establishing the very template that nearly every rock and roll guitarist after him would follow. What had changed Chuck Berry, in Perkins’ opinion, was partly the long, hard grind of years and years of one-night-only live performances, but, as Perkins also said, “I figure it was mostly jail.” Between 1960 and 1963, the man who helped invent rock and roll spent 20 months in federal prison following his conviction on charges of violating the Mann Act.
  12. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    Sorry, I’m not a fan, I just can’t separate the man from his music. He robbed three places and stole a car at at gun point and spent 3 yrs locked up in his youth. He was convicted of having sex with a 14 yr old and by all accounts he was not a nice man.
    5120mantis likes this.
  13. RomanS

    RomanS Gretschie

    May 26, 2010
    Vienna, Austria
    I presume you're not a fan of Jerry Lee Lewis then, either?
  14. Sabato

    Sabato Synchromatic

    Mar 22, 2019
  15. reverb11

    reverb11 Gretschie

    Jun 11, 2008
    London, Ontario
    A large portion of modern music would not exist in its current form today without Chuck Berry. Not only his guitar-playing, but also his lyrics and delivery changed the game for pop music. There are lots of youtube clips of crappy CB performances, but there are also lots of great ones. He played almost exclusively with unrehearsed pickup bands in the later years of his career.

    And, believe it or not, in the 1950's and 60's, there just might have been a little racial bias in the justice system for a man of colour--especially a famous one that lots of white teenagers admired.

    So let's give Chuck a break, huh? If you don't like Chuck Berry, you don't like rock and roll!:D
  16. Scott Fraser

    Scott Fraser Country Gent

    Jan 14, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I would lay blame for the bitterness on Jim Crow, much more than any music related matters.
    pmac11, RomanS, Merc and 2 others like this.
  17. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    As I was "the man behind the curtain" for years, I can guarantee that you should never meet your heroes.

    Many of Chuck's woes were brought on by himself. True, he was an innovator, but he didn't progress over the years.
    unknown fan, audept and 5120mantis like this.
  18. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    When I watched an excruciating concert-performance of the late- and obviously very frail- Chuck Berry on youtube I felt deeply sorry for a man who obviously had to earn money until his death and an audience which paid money for it.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  19. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    I like his music, not him
    swivel likes this.
  20. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    My guess, from what I have seen, is it was mostly just his personality, not the things he lost etc. He was a crucial part of early R&R, but still not a fun person at best.
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