Chuck Berry 18/10/1926 – 18/03/2017
Well after a tragic year of celebrity losses in 2016 with great musicians such as Lemmy, David Bowie and many others I can’t quite remember just at this moment 2017 has held back on it’s share of upsetting disappointments.
Today, however, news has broken that Blues and Jazz singer, songwriter and guitarist Charles “Chuck” Berry has died aged 90. He was found unresponsive by the St. Charles County Police who were called for a medical emergency at approximately 12:40 pm and attempted life saving techniques but was unfortunately pronounced deceased at 1:26 pm.
Chuck Berry was ahead of his time, famed for his style breaking guitar riffs and energetic performances that inspired many guitarists that made up the driving forces of rock bands through the 60’s 70’s and 80’s. His songs Johnny B Goode which only reached #8 in the charts has been played throughout every decade, by every guitarist since its release and has been party to many renditions, remixes and covers but he had to wait until 1972 to reach #1…with My Ding A Ling.
Of course no one will be able to forget the scene from Back To The Future when Marty McFly takes over on lead guitar at the high school prom withe The Starlighters and starts shredding to Johnny B Goode after the bands guitarist busts his hand after an encounter with Biff. The band who just happened to be the cousin of Chuck Berry who calls him up down the phone after Marty’s crazy solo exclaiming “I’ve got that new sound you’re looking for”. A classic by all means, weaved through yet another generation. “I guess you guys aren’t ready for this yet but you’re kids are going to love it” – Kinda like how cannabis unfolded in America.
As a result of this cultural icons impact on stuff stoners like, it’s no surprise that there is a cannabis strain named after him. The cross comes from an Afghani Landrace x Blackberry by Apothecary Genetics. A sweet, loud indica with a short flowering time of 6-7 weeks!
What some people may not know is that in 1990 Chuck was raided for cannabis possession of 62 grams and given a misdemeanor with a six month suspended sentence with two year unsupervised probation order. He announced that he would make a donation of $5000 to a local hospital for drug and alcohol services. He denied that the cannabis found was his.
It wasn’t the first time that Chuck had been on the wrong side of the law. In 1959 he was put in prison following the alleged trafficking of a minor over state lines as an “anti-white slavery” bill called The Mann Act, and found guilty by an all white jury to a judge that had made racist remarks throughout the trial. It kind of falls in line with the racists propaganda pushed out by US Drug Czar Anslinger who claimed black men used marijuana to make white women sleep with them. This, with three years in prison, was said to change the man that pretty much gave birth to a whole genre of music that changed the world’s listening habits.
Here’s a few of Chuck Berry’s best performances recorded on video. Smoke em if you got em! And don’t forget that duck walk!
And who can forget this one!?