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Thread: Chuck Berry dead at 90

  1. #26

    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    One of my all-time favorites! RIP.

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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Know any other musicians that did the splits during their performance?

  3. #28
    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Carroll View Post
    Know any other musicians that did the splits during their performance?
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  5. #29
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    I read an anecdote that one time way back in the day ('50s), JLL opened a show for Chuck and was a little miffed about it (the opening spot), so he threw everything he had into his number and ended by setting the piano on fire. Then he sauntered backstage where Chuck was waiting in the wings to come on and said nonchalantly, "follow that, sir!" or words to that effect.
    I don't know if it's true, but it was in the movie "Great Balls of Fire".

    One of my earliest memories is riding in the car with my Dad and hearing "Maybelline"for the first time. I knew at the tender age of five that I was hearing something unique.

    I read his auto bio. He wasn't perfect, but he was a heck of a guitar player and entertainer. Hard to believe his only #1 hit was "My Ding-a-Ling."
    Never say "bouzouki" to a TSA agent...

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  7. #30

    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    I lived in that central Ill. area where Chuck used to tour. He would roll in with only Johnny Johnson the piano man in a big Caddy. If there was an opening act he would practice them and keep them on stage for his show. If not, he would get musicians through the musicians union hall and pay scale for a bass and drums. I can't tell you how many guys were later. introduced as "having backed up the legend Chuck Berry." Great man and may he RIP. MMc

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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Heard today that his last album will be released this June - he was still rockin' at 90! Once a rocker, always a rocker, I guess...

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    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Jerry Lee was quoted as saying how much he'll miss the times the two had together on the road. I can't imagine the trouble those two would be able to get into! I once interviewed Chuck on the phone. Not a bad guy. A bit jaded, but he was honest and told me some things I wouldn't dare repeat (and Scott wouldn't appreciate me posting them here). One friend wrote on Facebook that he saw Chuck at Studio 54 years ago, from the VIP room, and Keith Richards was sitting in the corner intently figuring out exactly what Chuck was playing and how he was doing it. It wasn't just talk, he was a devoted student of Chuck's work.
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    A couple of Chuck Berry recordings that go especially well on mandolin for playing along:
    "You Never Can Tell (C'est la Vie)" is in C. The piano melody between verses makes for a good double stop run in C.
    "Promised Land" - also in C.


    I used to play "Memphis Tennessee" in a band - Chuck did this in Eb which is not so mando friendly but I think we played it in A.
    You might wanna try Johnny Rivers recording in E , Lonnie Mack's in G or (my favourite) The Faces in C.
    Bren

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    Registered User Jim Bevan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Here’s my Chuck Berry story:

    For a while I was in an independent back-up band – a promoter putting on an oldies show would hire us to play behind the famous ’50s & ’60s vocal acts. Chuck Berry was on a few of these shows, but I never got to play with him because he needed a separate back-up band just for him (so the promoter would have to hire two back-up bands). We’d play with, say, Brian Hyland, Shirley Austin Reeves of the Shirelles, and Little Anthony, and then Chuck would headline the show, with the other band behind him.

    So, we’re all having lunch together, and I don’t recognize the guy sitting across from me, so I asked him what he does. He was there to rent the Fender amp that Chuck was going to use that night to the promoter. (Chuck was picky about his amp – at that same concert he walked onstage right before the show, full audience watching, pulled out a tape measure and measured the amp to make sure it was legit.) Turns out, this guy was spending his whole summers doing this, going from venue to venue, following Chuck around, and renting the same amp to different promoters. He told me that he’d won the amp in a poker game.

    And yes, I got to see and hear some great legendary music, from the side of the stage.

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  13. #35
    Registered User Freddyfingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Yes I play Chuck on my mandolin. Good music is good music whatever it's played on.
    Its not a backwards guitar.

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  15. #36
    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Just got my copy of "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" Its an unauthorized biography of Chuck. Pretty interesting so far. By far my favorite Berry song is "Nadine". The cover, by John Hammond was undoubtedly perfectly done, in my much less than humble opinion. The picture Chuck Berry paints of his undying love for this woman, as he stalks her through the city is priceless.

    I got on a city bus and found a vacant seat,
    I thought I saw my future bride walking up the street,
    I shouted to the driver hey conductor, you must slow down.
    I think I see her please let me off this bus

    (Chorus. Repeat after each verse)
    Nadine, honey is that you?
    Oh, Nadine. Honey, is that you?
    Seems like every time I see you Darling you got something else to do


    I saw her from the corner when she turned and doubled back
    And started walkin' toward a coffee colored Cadillac
    I was pushin' through the crowd to get to where she's at
    And I was campaign shouting like a southern diplomat

    Downtown searching for her, looking all around.
    Saw her getting in a yellow cab heading up town.
    I caught a loaded taxi, paid up everybody's tab.
    Waved a twenty dollar bill, told him 'catch that yellow cab.'

    She move around like a wayward summer breeze,
    go, driver, go, go, catch her for me please.
    Moving thru the traffic like a mounted cavalier.
    Leaning out the taxi window trying to make her hear.
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    I remember hearing years ago that Chuck had substituted "diplomat" for "Democrat" (which would have made a more recognisable image) to avoid any political friction. Excellent use of language and imagery and the syllables are very rhythmic - you can see what Dylan got from him.
    Bren

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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Jim and Jesse McReynolds did a whole album of CB songs called "Berry Picking in the Country." They really swing out with the help of Jimmy Buchanan on fiddle. Their love of Chuck Berry's music really shines through on this album. I don't know if this one has made it onto CD, but it's worth seeking out for fans of Jim and Jesse as well as Chuck Berry aficionados.

    Goodbye, Johnny B. Goode.
    Last edited by Warren H; Mar-26-2017 at 8:34pm. Reason: Spelling

  18. #39
    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Quote Originally Posted by Bren View Post
    I remember hearing years ago that Chuck had substituted "diplomat" for "Democrat" (which would have made a more recognisable image) to avoid any political friction. Excellent use of language and imagery and the syllables are very rhythmic - you can see what Dylan got from him.
    Hmm? Plausible. In those days, the South was overwhelmingly Democratic. A blues/rhythm and blues group I played with in the early 70's loved playing this number. It really flows. We had a lot of laughs playing it.
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  20. #40
    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Quote Originally Posted by Spruce View Post
    +1...
    I think you can run to the bank on that one...

    RIP Mr. Berry...
    Began Reading, "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" by Bruce Pegg. The author, describes Berry's Guitar playing on the instrumental break in the first recoding of '30 days' as, "Rapid fire, mandolin-style strumming."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU_506KSI_s

    Maybe a stretch. Middle class kid in the Midwest born in 1926. He would have had to have heard at least a few WSM Barn Dance broadcasts?
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Maybe a stretch. Middle class kid in the Midwest born in 1926. He would have had to have heard at least a few WSM Barn Dance broadcasts?[/QUOTE]

    Popular mythology says that the tune Ida Red was the inspiration for Maybelline.

  22. #42
    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Quote Originally Posted by Warren H View Post
    Maybe a stretch. Middle class kid in the Midwest born in 1926. He would have had to have heard at least a few WSM Barn Dance broadcasts?
    Popular mythology says that the tune Ida Red was the inspiration for Maybelline.[/QUOTE]

    That is what the writer of Brown Eyed Handsome Man claims.
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    "Nobody goes there any longer. It got much too crowded".

  23. #43
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Quote Originally Posted by willkamm View Post
    When I listen to Chuck these days, I swear I can hear Bill Monroe licks.
    If we were to pick one Bill Monroe song that displays this influence, which one would it be?

  24. #44

    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    I think there's a bit of influence from Bill's style in Rocky Road Blues and Bluegrass Stomp.
    But that's two...and I really couldn't say for sure if either one of them influenced C.B. or not.

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  26. #45

    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Double Post.

  27. #46
    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bevan View Post
    Here’s my Chuck Berry story:

    For a while I was in an independent back-up band – a promoter putting on an oldies show would hire us to play behind the famous ’50s & ’60s vocal acts. Chuck Berry was on a few of these shows, but I never got to play with him because he needed a separate back-up band just for him (so the promoter would have to hire two back-up bands). We’d play with, say, Brian Hyland, Shirley Austin Reeves of the Shirelles, and Little Anthony, and then Chuck would headline the show, with the other band behind him.

    Sounds like a great gig to have had! I wish you'd been backing him up the one time I heard him, in 1967 at the Oakland Auditorium. He had the shabbiest band ever behind him. Probably the cheapest too, as they were rumored to be the promoter's teenaged kids. It didn't help that he ended his set with about 12 minutes of My Ding-a-ling. Disappointing show, and a shame, because the real headliner that night was Jackie Wilson, who brought in his own excellent band. Also on the bill: Sly and the Family Stone, in one of their first gigs.

    As far as country influence goes, I hear more Hank Williams than Monroe. And he was a good steel guitar player early on. As a kid I listened for hours to Deep Feeling, the flip side of School Day:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-NBfhhnL-Y

    (Sorry, doesn't seem to want to imbed.)

  28. #47
    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry dead at 90

    Quote Originally Posted by Bren View Post
    I remember hearing years ago that Chuck had substituted "diplomat" for "Democrat" (which would have made a more recognisable image) to avoid any political friction. Excellent use of language and imagery and the syllables are very rhythmic - you can see what Dylan got from him.
    Just got through with an issue of Rolling Stone I took from the dentist's office. (With my dentist's approval of course.) Dylan said, he was very impressed with Chuck's writing. Article said, Chuck had considered Johnny B Goode being a "Colored" boy at one point, but changes it to Country Boy as an afterthought. Wasn't until I read that article that I realized he was buried with his guitar.
    Weber River F14 Scarlett Fire #0001 (2014) "Scarlett"
    JBovier A5 (2017) "JB"
    Breedlove Legacy OF A/E (2015) Coming very soon, from a store near you.
    Hohner Marine Bands (various keys)

    "Nobody goes there any longer. It got much too crowded".

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