Very sadly – news in just after midnight of the death of rock legend, Chuck Berry, aged 90. Often referred to as “the Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Chuck Berry undoubtedly an early influence to Brian’s guitar playing.
Early News reports
Chuck Berry, Key Pioneer of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Dies at 90 18 March 2017 | 03:15PM PT
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Chuck Berry, the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer who established the form and the themes of the music with his slyly funny, rhythmically propulsive ’50s hits, such as “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Johnny B. Goode,” has died. He was 90. St. Charles County police responded to call placed at around 12:40 p.m. local time on Saturday (18 March 2017). They arrived on the scene where Berry was found unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at 1:26 p.m., according to the police department.
Berry hammered out the then-nascent sound’s groundwork in a series of self-penned singles for the Chicago R&B label Chess Records that successfully crossed over into the pop mainstream. The tunes showcased Berry’s droll singing, inventive guitar licks and acute eye and ear for the nuances of teenage life. In a matter of years, his repertoire would be adopted by such British acolytes as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones; California band the Beach Boys surrendered some of the copyright for its 1963 hit “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” which shamelessly copped the melody of Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen” without credit.
Like early contemporaries Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, Berry put his music over with a showman’s flair. The pompadoured, mustachioed musician’s “duck walk” — a crouched, head-bobbing march across the stage — was an onstage trademark that became familiar to viewers of the ’50s exploitation films like “Rock, Rock, Rock!” and “Go, Johnny, Go!” in which he starred. (Continues)
Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry dies
19 March 2016
Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry has died aged 90, police in the US state of Missouri report.
The singer was found unresponsive at lunchtime on Saturday, St Charles County police said.
Berry’s seven-decade career boasted a string of hits, including classics Roll Over Beethoven and Johnny B. Goode. He received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1984 and was among the first inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 (Continues) | Obituary ‘
Johnny B Goode’ has also just passed Saturn… in playlist on s NASA Space Probe – the Voyager Interstellar Mission [READ MORE: “Music From Earth”]
An influence on Brian – he can be seen performing ‘Johnny B. Goode’ below. The same track appeared on Brian’s recent compilation “Air Guitar Anthems” released 18 Nov 2016.
The duo, Brian May and Dave Dilloway collectively known as “1984” played Chuck Berry songs in their early gigs -1966: ‘Too Much Monkey Business’ and ‘Our Little Rendezvous’. Later, Brian joined REO Speedwagon with ‘Johnny B. Goode’ 29/05/1985 at Hammersmith Odeon, London, and also performed same as guest with Jerry Lee Lewis, Hammersmith Odeon, 21/11/1989 (see below).
Brian on guitar and vocals at his daughter, Emily’s wedding, 31/08/2013, Natural History Museum, London:
The Bluejays (Featuring Brian May) – ‘Johnny B Goode’ – Live at the Natural History Museum
Jerry Lee Lewis – Johnny B Goode – 21/11/1989 – https://youtu.be/gu247GKesyg
Find on: Jerry Lee Lewis And Friends [DVD]