Southside Johnny remembers Chuck Berry
If rock is dead, it lived to be 90, which is the age Chuck Berry was when he passed away Saturday. I spoke to Southside Johnny Lyon who called me back from his tour bus going to Minneapolis to remember the rock 'n' roll legend.
"We used to do about ten of his songs which was part of the repertoire every band had in the sixties," says Lyon, "It was the core of what every band knew so that if you got up and jammed or put a band together you could audition people by saying let's do Johnny B Goode or Oh Carol and everybody knew it so you could see if the guy could play or not" Berry provided that kind of soundtrack for a musician.
What did Chuck Berry mean to Southside Johnny? "For me hearing Maybellene made me realize how much fun rock 'n' roll could be, because it is a fun perfect rock 'n' roll song and his songs were always fun." Johnny says "It made you feel like you wanted to play that kind of stuff, I was into the blues, but Chuck Berry kinda nudges you into the fun aspects of life."
Southside did get to meet Chuck Berry. "I met him three times, he was not the most personable of people, he could be very irascible and I relate to that because I certainly could be that way too. He's very sarcastic and I'm very sarcastic but it was just a thrill watching him play."
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