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In these modern days of rock and roll, with so many different variations and styles it's easy to forget where everything started. It's especially easy for people like me who have never known days without rock and roll and have never known days before the rock and roll greats existed. To keep that in mind I like to listen to some of the early greats and just bask in their glory soaking it in.
When it comes to rock and roll and the roots of rock and roll, lots of names come mind... maybe Elvis? I think I'd go with the one and only, Chuck Berry, and of course if we're talking about Chuck Berry, we should also be talking about "Johnny B. Goode".
Perhaps the seminal rock and roll track of all time, or at very least one of them, I've heard just about 100+ bands cover this song at one point or another. In general it's a high energy song but I don't think anyone captures it as perfectly as Chuck Berry.
This clip is from a television show I think... back in the day, but I wasn't able to pinpoint the date or the name of the show off the top of my head. It is Chuck Berry playing "Johnny B. Goode" with all his trademark moves and everything.
Could there really be a better representation of rock and roll that this footage? Or a better picture of the late 50s early 60s rock and roll environment? It's like a perfect snapshot of the times, significantly dated, but it's that dated feeling that really makes it great. Sure I would have preferred more footage of Berry playing, but the synchronized dancing is such a staple of the times that it just seems to add to the overall feel. Of course that is me looking back at it as a sort of time capsule. I'm sure someone who was around during that time might see it differently.
I've always been a fan of this song and as I said, no one plays it better than the original. It is interesting to see this performance because although it feels entirely legitimate and real, there are obvious parts that were staged and so I do wonder if perhaps it was entirely mimed? I don't think so but it is a possibility.
Either way, just a great snapshot of the time period and some of the raw rock and roll energy of Chuck Berry that inspired all those who would follow. Great way to remember the good ole' days.