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SurfGuitar101 Forums » The Shallow End »

Permalink Chuck Berry has passed.

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Hail Hail Rock n Roll and long live the king of Rock n Roll guitar.

The day before he died I listened to the Chess releases on CD.

Every once in a while I need a dose of Chuck and I believe that will never change.

I always learn something new, every time I listen.

I am gladdened to know he lived a long long life. And at least one song - Johnny B. Goode - is heading to the stars even as we speak.

Through the years, I had the chance to see him live several times. The first time being in the late sixties. He was really on that night, just nailed it. The next time well, I guess he just wasn't feeling it, out of tune and just didn't care. But was always a thrill to see him no matter how he sounded. We'll be doing a tribute show Thursday night.and will do as many tunes as we can squeeze in a 3 hour show. Hail, hail rock'n'roll!!!!

When I bought my first electric guitar (a 60's sunburst Fender Jaguar) and wanted to learn Pipeline and Diamond Head, my guitar teacher said I had to start with Chuck Berry first! He has been with me ever since! RIP.

Craig Skelly


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There is an LP on Mercury Records released in 1967 called "Chuck Berry's Golden Hits". These are all bona-fied re-recordings of his earlier Chess recordings. On the back of the LP jacket, they mention that these are indeed "new" recordings, & they go on to shed some light on the equipment used for these re-recordings. They specifically mentioned his "homemade" special amplifier & went on to say that Chuck used a Fender outboard reverb unit for these recordings. While these "newer" recordings may lack some of the "original" spunk of the originals, these are actually not too bad. (Just remember that Fender Outboard Reverb unit Smile ).
I was lucky enough to see Chuck Berry live in Orlando, FL in the mid 80's & he used a gigantic Fender Showman Amp & YES he did indeed have the outboard reverb. (He did his famous & original "duck walk" as well).
If you don't have the original "Golden Hits LP, you can look it up on "you tube" & listen to it. (There is a blonde in the lower right on the cover). These "newer" recordings are worth a listen as long as you remember they were done in 1967 ...& I will miss Chuck Berry & his pioneering work Cry I think he helped all of us along the path..RIP Chuck Berry.

I read somewhere that Chuck's contract always required the promoter to provide a "Fender Showman or Twin combo amplifier". I know he travelled light with only the one guitar.

Did you hear of Chuck's pension plan? Every year he buys a new Gibson ES335 (tax deductible of course), and at the end of the year puts it into storage and buys a new one. So somewhere on Chuck's estate are 50-odd Gibson ES335s dating back to the late 50s. How much do you reckon that's worth, let alone the fact they all once belonged to Chuck Berry. Genius.

Here is a link for a concert from March 28th 1972
Chuck was already over 40 yers old when this event happened.

Another urban legend about Chuck, was he only played for cash paid before he went on stage. Probably a carry over from his early days in the 50s when promoters took advantage of a young black man.

Happy Sunsets!

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