Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chuck and Ludvig, BFF

It was an amazing act of precognition (is that a word?) for Chuck Berry to tell Beethoven to "roll over."

It was the tenth song he ever recorded-- about two years into the odyssey that we call rock and roll, and less than a year into Berry's own public life. And there he was, telling one of the most important composers of all time to get lost.

He wasn't the first young person to get boastful. But he sure pulled it off.

The United States has produced a number of composers who equal the classical masters. Duke Ellington, for sure, and Thelonious Monk. But even they didn't have the overall cultural clout of Chuck Berry.

His influence is just everywhere.

He's not a composer, and never pretended to be. But he's a cultural giant up there for eternity with the biggest and best ever.

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