Chuck Berry died at age 90 in St. Charles, Missouri. Cause of death pending. Ask me who was the definition of rock & roll, and I would tell you it was Chuck Berry. Moreso than Elvis, if Chuck Berry didn't exist, rock and roll would not exist, not like we know it today, and what would have come about would not have lasted so long. Speaking of which, Berry's death is sad, but the only thing unexpected about it was that Berry lived so long despite all the touring he did.
So, now my bucket list has grown to four items:
1. To be in the eye of a hurricane.
2. To witness a fish fall.
3. To witness a ball of lightning (one of my sisters already beat me to that one)
And now. . . .
4. To pee on the grave of the judge who sentenced Chuck Berry to jail for violating the Mann Act. . . .
My first exposure to Chuck Berry that I can recall was unfortunately his re-working of Dave Bartholomew's ribald "My Ding-A-Ling" when I was eleven. Fortunately for my education of all things Chuck Berry, that #1 hit in 1972 unleashed a renewed interest in Berry's formidable string of hits - "Maybellene", "Thirty Days", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Brown Eyed Handsome Man", "Havana Moon", "You Can't Catch Me", "School Day", "Rock & Roll Music", "Sweet Little Sixteen", "Reelin' & Rockin'", "Johnny B. Goode", "Sweet Little Rock & Roller", "Almost Grown", "Back In The U.S.A.", "Memphis, Tennessee" (the late Lonnie Mack's version was also stellar), "Bye Bye Johnny", "Nadine (Is That You?)", "No Particular Place To Go", "You Never Can Tell". . . . a remarkable man with a remarkable, indelible legacy. Chuck Berry, I will miss you, but I'm glad you came around.