An American Original Chuck Berry Dead

How big was Chuck Berry?

Without him and his peers, there is no Beatles, Zeppelin, Who, Doors, Kinks, Stones and other iconic bands.

It's that simple.

Very happy I got to see Chuck Berry play live at a free outdoor concert during the Jazz Festival (Labatt Blues venue) back in the 1990s.

Those were the days when the Jazz Festival was strictly jazz and blues.



Berry wasn't the only one who passed on.

James Cotton too.

Back in my university days - sigh -  I was walking along Park Ave. with a girl I was dating at the time and stumbled upon the ‘G-Sharpe’ (I think it was that. Time has eroded my memory) blues club which at the time was on its dying days. 

Hard to fathom today but Montreal had its fair share of jazz/blues bars (my mother’s side of the family had a couple of degenerate (well, to the extent my mother recounts the stories anyway) musicians who worked along St. Catherine’s street playing alongside many a great American jazz musicians) and this club was one of them. The place was perfect. Long and narrow, seedy and furnished with torn couches and endowed with poor ventilation it was capped off with a packed house of 60 or so of society’s forgotten. 

On the stage stood Hubert Sumlin. 

Among the best live performances I’ve seen. 

We had a blast.


  1. A-A-Ah-h-h-h-h, the '50s and '60s ...
    The age of progressive jazz and early to earlier rock n'roll, pop, R&B, folk, and country.

    And what, pray tell, do we have these days as "popular music"?
    Redundancy galore!

  2. Best decades for sure.

    The thing about my generation is we were just about the last (and one right after I reckon...but barely) to be connected to those performers. John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, etc. and so we knew who they were because we exposed to them.

    Now that they're dying off, the kids today will be disconnected from the roots.

    I remember in grade school when a group of girls were singing Jett's 'I love rock'n roll' back in the early 80s. What the heck do they sing now? Bieber?

    Get what I'm driving at?

  3. Even in the '60s there was a huge disconnect between those who grew up on the '30s and '40s "Big Band era" pop music and the (then-)current "Rock n'Roll" generation.
    Like, Big Band (and other popular music of that period) was already considered "anachronistic" (in spite of being divided by a mere 20-to-40 year time span).


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