The Day Chuck Berry Died
This weekend Chuck Berry died.
The news popped up on my phone, a square notification, no different then an incoming message or a celebratory notification about a favorite sports team winning.
My kitchen was filed with friends, pouring drinks and making food. Time didn’t stop, one person even asking, “Who is Chuck Berry?”. But time did stop, at least for me.
Don McLean wrote American Pie when Buddy Holly’s plane crashed. But March 18, was the day the music died in St. Louis.
I grew up around music. Music was in the air, the sounds floating out of the radio in the kitchen, my dad swinging me around, dancing, as he sang and chased me with “Go Johnny Go!”. The notes remind me of a sunny happy day, the way that music can bring back the best memories.
Little Queenie played through the cd player on that first drive as a newly 16 licensed driver. I can still remember the windows down, and the notes floating out the window, a first taste at freedom.
Chuck Berry wasn’t without his issues, any news article will tell you that. But the man had a huge role on the culture of rock and roll and the culture of St. Louis. We made it out to Blueberry Hill for the Last Podcast on the Left show in the Duck Room a few weeks back. We had some City Wide beers, in the historic basement of Blueberry Hill and laughed as the hosts made jokes about Chuck Berry’s indiscretions.
But Chuck Berry’s fame is in his music, his songwriting and his influence on all the other great performers who brought music to the people, unafraid of the consequences and the pushback.
Music influences all of our lives and our history here at By Jack. It’s the spotify playlists, it’s design ideas, the background noise to coffee meetings. We’re here to help musicians, in the way of audience, of merchandise, of just sharing a sound we love.
That’s why we started Unplugged. To bring music back to the people. And because we always want music around.
In the words of the late great Chuck Berry,