If you look up the word ‘influence’ in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Chuck Berry.
While he did not ‘invent’ rock and roll, he most definitely stomped through the music of the early-to-mid 50s with both feet, leaving his prints in the fertile wet cement of rock’s early days.
Drawing on the raw energy of the blues and the rhythmic swing of the big bands, (replacing the soaring horn section riffs with the strings of his guitar), Berry took what he heard around him and ‘brought it somewhere else’.
In the process, he became the man who launched a thousand bands and millions of fans.
You’ve heard of the Beatles, The Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones, right?
You probably wouldn’t have, if Chuck Berry hadn’t plugged in and let it rip.
His style, his lyrics, his duck walk and his attitude all set him apart and inspired thousands of guitar players, the most successful of whom took his music and ‘brought it somewhere else’…just as he had with his influences.
If this was an article designed to simply praise this artist for his achievements, it could go on forever.
Instead, I will ask these simple questions:
Who were your influences?
What have they inspired you to do/create/share with the world?
How have you ‘brought it somewhere else’ with your own voice and style?
I hope you know your song and sing it to the world every day, just because someone needs to hear it…and because you love to sing it.
Will you make a difference?
You never can tell.
Sing and play anyway.
Hail, hail, rock and roll.