FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Chuck Berry: “Up in the Morning and Off to School!”

by

Chuck Berry died yesterday. I first heard him just before I entered puberty. I liked the music but something about it scared me, pushed me into a dark unknown. I tried to stop listening to it but I couldn’t.

Within a year or so, I was fully in the thrall of puberty and Chuck’s music made perfect sense, heightened every experience I had or wished I was having. Those guitar lines, those knowing grown-up vocals, were burned upon my soul, where they still remain for instant access.

I highly recommend Chuck Berry’s autobiography, told in the unique voice of a man who, without necessarily intending to, helped to integrate the country while living through the horrors of segregation. This is part of the legacy left by one of the greatest, most influential artists who will ever live.

I wrote this in December 2016:

I was on a Navy ship in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. After a tour of duty of several months was over, we headed for home. I went through this three different times. As we would set sail towards California, much of the crew would stay up all night on the helicopter deck, frantically tuning their radios, trying to be the first person to get an American radio station playing some tunes. We were beyond tired, but we were alive and we were going home. Nothing else mattered.

The last time I experienced this ritual, I “won.” I got clear channel KOMA/Oklahoma City to come in, blasting through my radio 11,000 miles away from the station. The first song played was, I kid you not, Chuck Berry’s “Back in the USA.”

Chuck Berry turned NINETY in October. He’s got a new album coming out, as he sits on the throne of popular music knowing he’s given millions of us memories we will never forget.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
Bill Willers
Volunteerism; Charisma; the Ivy League Stranglehold: a Very Brief Trilogy
Lawrence Davidson
Moral Failure at the UN
Pete Dolack
World Bank Declares Itself Above the Law
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Israel’s Human Rights Spies
Patrick Cockburn
From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack
Ralph Nader
Reason and Justice Address Realities
Ramzy Baroud
‘Decolonizing the Mind’: Using Hollywood Celebrities to Validate Islam
Colin Todhunter
Monsanto in India: The Sacred and the Profane
Louisa Willcox
Grizzlies Under the Endangered Species Act: How Have They Fared?
Norman Pollack
Militarization of American Fascism: Trump the Usurper
Pepe Escobar
North Korea: The Real Serious Options on the Table
Brian Cloughley
“These Things Are Done”: Eavesdropping on Trump
Sheldon Richman
You Can’t Blame Trump’s Military Budget on NATO
Carol Wolman
Trump vs the People: a Psychiatrist’s Analysis
Stanley L. Cohen
The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups
Farhang Jahanpour
America’s Woes, Europe’s Responsibilities
Joseph Natoli
March Madness Outside the Basketball Court
Bruce Mastron
Slaughtered Arabs Don’t Count
Pauline Murphy
Unburied Truth: Exposing the Church’s Iron Chains on Ireland
Ayesha Khan
The Headscarf is Not an Islamic Compulsion
Ron Jacobs
Music is Love, Music is Politics
Christopher Brauchli
Prisoners as Captive Customers
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Robert Koehler
The Mosque That Disappeared
Franklin Lamb
Update from Madaya
Dan Bacher
Federal Scientists Find Delta Tunnels Plan Will Devastate Salmon
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Gig Economy: Which Side Are You On?
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Marines to Kill Desert Tortoises
Louis Proyect
What Caused the Holodomor?
Max Mastellone
Seeking Left Unity Through a Definition of Progressivism
Charles R. Larson
Review: David Bellos’s “Novel of the Century: the Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables”
David Yearsley
Ear of Darkness: the Soundtracks of Steve Bannon’s Films
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail