March 18, 2017

RIP: Chuck Berry, Musician Who Helped Define Rock ’N’ Roll, Dies at 90, the New York Times is reporting.

A brilliant songwriter and guitarist (who must have had the biggest hands of any guitarist to play those chugga chugga boogie piano-inspired bass note riffs up and down the fretboard), Berry also had quite a dark side, as Hail, Hail Rock and Roll, the documentary he commissioned for his 60th birthday inadvertently revealed. Director Taylor Hackford’s 2007 article for the London Independent on the making of that film is quite an interesting read. Hackford’s documentary also featured the legendary moment where Berry entered into a battle of egos with protege (and musical director*) Keith Richards over a simple guitar lick in Berry’s song “Oh Carol:”

Chuck Berry & Keith Richards – Oh Carol from Music Management USA on Vimeo.

* Or “S&M director” — “the social and musical director,” as Richards described the painful experience of working with his longtime idol afterwards.