Just Like ringin’ A Bell
Why learning the godfather of rock ’n’ roll’s licks is a very Goode idea...
It’d be easy to see Chuck Berry simply as a flamboyant character from the early rock ’n’ roll days – the duck walk, the chunky boogie rhythm and those signature doublestop introductions. But there was much more to it. We often view players from that era in terms of being a ‘beginning’. Without Chuck Berry or Duane Eddy, there could never have been a Hendrix or Van Halen, and so on. But music history is rarely linear; every new style is the result of several earlier styles and influences being combined in a new way. In that sense, Chuck Berry represents an intriguing point in music history. The most obvious influence on both his guitar style and stage persona was T-Bone Walker, just a short musical hop from the pioneering swing of Charlie Christian. Chuck played country in his early professional career and was also influenced by the more earthy Delta blues of Muddy Waters. It’s hardly surprising, then, that rock came to be such a huge and complex genre!
In good company: Chuck Berry performs with Keith Richards and Neil Young at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Awards in New York City, 1986