RIP: Chuck Berry, Dead at 90

Here are the opening paragraphs of The Washington Post’s obituary:

Chuck Berry, the perpetual wild man of rock music who helped define its rebellious spirit in the 1950s and was the sly poet laureate of songs about girls, cars, school and even the “any old way you choose it” vitality of the music itself, died March 18 at his home in St. Charles County, Mo. He was 90.

St. Charles County police announced the death in a Facebook post on its Website, saying officers responded to a medical emergency at Mr. Berry’s home and administered lifesaving techniques but could not revive him. No further information was available.

“While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together,” reads Mr. Berry’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

A seminal figure in early rock music, he was all the rarer still for writing, singing and playing his own music. His songs and the boisterous performance standards he set directly influenced the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and later Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger.

There not only was only one Chuck Berry — there could only be one Chuck Berry.

Keith Richards recounting the time Chuck Berry punched him in the face.

Because of Chuck Berry, Rock ‘n Roll will never die. Berry was 90.

All compound things are impermanent,
They are subject to birth and death;
Put an end to birth and death,

And there is blissful tranquility. — Gatha of Impermanence


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos