Meanwhile… I was STILL thinking – Chuck Berry – Hail! Hail! Rock N’ Roll (DVD)

The first time I truly heard him, I was at a pool hall with my older brother. I thought I was being being pretty sneaky, sipping left over Budweiser bottles behind the lower counter while my brother was playing cards. I found out afterwards that they were placing side bets at how long it would be till I would pass out. Some Fleetwood Mac shit was playing on the jukebox and I had had enough. I remember feeling pretty good, kinda cocky as I walked towards the Jukebox. I was gonna put my 2 quarters in and play some Joan Jett or Ramones or ANYTHING but Fleetwood Mac. I walked back towards the counter, stopping just for a second at the card table to pick up a few more bottles that I could sneak back to my table. “I Love Rock n’Roll” was playing and soon I would hear “Beat On The Brat”. Much to my surprise, I heard this amazing guitar intro followed by a story about a country boy named “Johnny B. Goode”.
Now I know that I had listened this song before on the radio but that day was the first time I had HEARD the song. Apparently in my alcohol induced fog, I had hit G15 instead of F15 on the jukebox. Best Goddamned mistake I ever made. It just hit me like a ton of bricks….this was the music that Joan, Joey and Keef stole all their shit from….note for note sometimes. Yeah, Joey put the licks through a buzzsaw and Joan glammed it up but they knew the music was straight up CHUCK.

chuck-berry_0

10 years later, Stone Temple Pilots ruled the radio, Green Day just hit the airwaves and Kurt Cobain had just committed suicide. Rock n’ Roll had changed a lot in those 10 years. But I never forgot that 4/4 rock & roll beat and the epiphany it had laid on an 11 year old kid.

Come On

Little Queenie

I just finished watching “Hail! Hail! Rock N’ Roll” tonight and I just hope to God I’m still kicking it like Chuck at 60 years old.

“Hail! Hail! Rock N’ Roll” indeed.

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Ben

Exiled New Englander now living in Canada. I dream in Spanish but can't speak it. I wish I'd grown up as an old black man playin' the blues just like my father.

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