Chuck Berry’s Influences

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

Came across this video tonight. Wasn’t going to click it—you know how it is with Youtube, after the algorithm gets to know you, everything that pops up is interesting, but you just don’t have enough time. Why did I finally decide to click it? I noticed the date. Nov. 4th, 1987, and I realized that was just a few days after one of the most epic nights of my life, playing a Halloween gig in my junior year at SMU for a big frat party down in Deep Ellum, and everything going so magically, fairy-tale like well. It was one of those nights, especially for a relative loser like me when you go “Finally my life has begun!” Well, again, enough about me. I’ll write more about it in blog posts, and there’s a big chunk of it in my novel (albeit with an avatar character) which I’ll publish pretty soon.
Instead let’s talk about Chuck Berry on Johnny Carson, two people I couldn’t think more of. I’ll write more about his music in the future, but what strikes me right off the bat is something just like Dylan, it’s the subtleties, the almost unnoticed accents and rhythmic “pulls and pushes” that are undefinable on a staff sheet, but that give this music, Rock and Roll itself, its life, its soul.
Also, I was thinking about Keith Richards whom I remembered made a fantastic concert movie the year before with Chuck, but which contained such confrontation between the two as to make you cringe. But during this performance you can see how Keith got his notorious “leg kick” as well as the signature holding the guitar almost vertically which is such an iconic pose. I can see why anyone, especially Keith, would idolize this man, and I really enjoyed him mentioning his influences, including Charlie Christian, whom I was aware of vaguely, but now allows me a deeper dive. Here’s the video with Carson, whom I love and so do every comedian. What a treat!

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