As a radio DJ, I have some unwritten rules for myself and one of them is to never talk over a Chuck Berry intro. I tried explaining that to a lady friend recently and I told her a Chuck Berry guitar intro sets the table for what's to come. The guitar intros elevated such tunes as "Sweet Little Sixteen", "Roll Over Beethoven", "You Never Can Tell" and of course "Johnny B. Goode" from great to a whole new level!
In addition to his guitar work, Chuck was also a master showman. I know I'm not alone in trying to imitate the "duck walk" while also air guitar playing to a Chuck Berry classic.
One aspect of Chuck's artistry that sometimes got overlooked was his songwriting prowess. His vivid storytelling allowed me to play his songs in my head like 2 1/2 minute movies. Just imagine if the modern music video format was around during Chuck's prime. As Bruce Springsteen stated in the superb 1987 concert doc "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll", I have never seen a "coffee-colored Cadillac", but I know what one looks like! If there is a Rock and Roll Heaven, that "helluva band" is now off the charts! This Saturday (3/25) on The Retro Mix, I am paying tribute to Chuck Berry. In addition to plenty of music from Chuck, I am playing other solid gold oldies from the 50s and 60s.
Below is one of the highlights from my all-time favorite concert movie, "The T.A.M.I. Show". If interested, you can find the complete film here. One of the dancers later became a star in her own right. The tall blonde wearing the sweater and Roman sandals is a young Teri Garr!