Tuesday, January 26, 2010


One of the things that amazes me about doing this website is the way so many people have shared their love and respect for Chuck Berry with me (and you).  Doug from Iowa keeps sending videos I'd never find by myself.  Musicians Bob Lohr, Robert Baldori and Daryl Davis each shared stories and thoughts about working with Chuck Berry.  Two professional photographers in England let me use great pictures they'd taken.  Other Peter shared his story of being a fantatical Chuck Berry fan.  Author Fred Rothwell agreed to be interviewed and told how he began writing about Chuck Berry.  So I shouldn't be too surprised by the continuing acts of kindness.  The other day I read about a concert to benefit North Carolina blues singer Sheila Carlisle and saw that Muddy Waters' former guitarist Bob Margolin was performing.  I remembered Margolin for an amazing quote in the book "Can't Be Satisfied" about hearing (and helping) Muddy Waters perform the song "Two Trains Running."   It turns out that the quote was taken from an article by Margolin in Blues Revue.  Margolin wrote:

"At the end of the verse where he sang,

       Well they say she’s no good, but she’s all right

Muddy suddenly broke double-time and began to chant:

       She’s all right, she’s all right
       She’s all right, she’s all right

...over the band’s jumping, one-chord pattern. But every time Muddy sang the line, he sang it more intensely. He put progressively more power and meaning into the same phrase, over and over. For ten minutes, he built steadily until it seemed like we would all explode. When he cut his arm down and ended the song, we were all dropped back onto the ground, to pick up the shattered pieces of our little lives and go on as best we could."

It's one of the best stories I've ever read about being in the presence of truly great art.  The story can't be beat.    You can find it right here!  along with a story about a guitar lesson from Muddy Waters. 

When I saw Margolin's address at the bottom of his website I wrote him an e-mail.  He sent me the picture of my hero Chuck Berry that you see above.  Margolin took it in England in 1979.  You get the feeling it had been a pretty good show.

As I say, the generosity is amazing.  Thank you.

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