Happy 87th Birthday, Chuck Berry | VALID | #TWIBnation

Happy 87th Birthday, Chuck Berry

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Charles Edward Anderson (“Chuck”) Berry was born on October 18, 1926, in St. Louis, Missouri. Without Chuck Berry, there would be no rock ’n roll as we know it.

He’s the guy who taught the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards how to play guitar … and who once famously punched Keith in the face. Richards, by the way, wore the black eye he received as a badge of honor. And why not? The Stones’ signature guitar sound owes its existence to Berry.

He’s also the guy who wrote and sang “You Can’t Catch Me,” from which the Beatles borrowed just a little to liberally when they recorded “Come Together” on their final LP, Abbey Road. Via Wikipedia:

In 1973, “Come Together” was the subject of a lawsuit brought against Lennon by Big Seven Music Corp. (owned by Morris Levy) who was the publisher of Chuck Berry’s “You Can’t Catch Me”. Levy contended that it sounded similar musically to Berry’s original and shared some lyrics (Lennon sang “Here come ol’ flattop, he come groovin’ up slowly” and Berry’s had sung “Here come a flattop, he was movin’ up with me”). Before recording, Lennon and McCartney deliberately slowed the song down and added a heavy bass riff in order to make the song more original. After settling out of court, Lennon promised to record three other songs owned by Levy. A primitive version of “Ya Ya” with Lennon and his son Julian was released on the album Walls and Bridges in 1974. “You Can’t Catch Me” and another version of “Ya Ya” were released on Lennon’s 1975 album Rock ’n’ Roll, but the third, “Angel Baby”, remained unreleased until after Lennon’s death. Levy again sued Lennon for breach of contract, and was eventually awarded $6,795. Lennon countersued after Levy released an album of Lennon material using tapes that were in his possession and was eventually awarded $84,912.96. The album was called Roots.

(Tip of the hat to Bob R. of the Four Freedoms blog, who alerted me to that.)

And, yes, at age 87, Chuck Berry is still kicking ass. He’s currently on tour in Europe, as a matter of fact. And, for what it’s worth, he looks a hell of a lot better than Keith Richards:

Chuck Berry Keith Richards

[Photo credit: Daily Mail Online]

David Von Ebers

An evil trial lawyer from Chicago, which makes me almost as bad as Barack Obama himself. Except, I am a Cubs fan, unlike our President, and so, as the kids say, I AM SHAME. I blog about legal issues, politics, sports, music (that long-haired rock 'n roll music all the kids are into), and, frequently, the interaction between any and all of the above. When I'm not busy undermining the Constitution or circumventing your freedoms, I run, watch too much sports on the teevee, and hang out with my long-suffering wife and three kids.

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