Chuck Berry: the biography
It’s no exaggeration to say that, with songs like Rock 'n’ Roll Music, Roll Over Beethoven, and Johnny B. Goode, Chuck Berry invented rock 'n’ roll. However, his career has been overshadowed, and often stalled, by tax evasion, liaisons with an underage prostitute, and jail sentences. Now, John Collis interviews those who have worked with Berry and uncovers the truth about his life back in St. Louis. The result is a clear-eyed portrait of a musical genius who, even in his seventies, is still up on stage singing Sweet Little Sixteen.
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CHUCK BERRYUser Review - Book Verdict
Eric Clapton once said that "Berry was so concerned with money and himself...that in a way it kind of spoiled the feeling for the music," while Berry's former bassist, Dave Toretta, remarked that though distrustful of people, "generally he's a gem." As music writer Collis (The Rock Primer) points out in this fast-paced profile, the man who brought us "Maybellene" elicits both love and hate. Tracing Berry's life from his early days in St. Louis to performances at New York City's B.B. King Blues Club in 2001, he offers a familiar take on Berry as an artist as concerned with commerce as with music, drawing on interviews with his subject's friends. Less hagiographic than Bruce Pegg's recent Brown-Eyed Handsome Man, Collis's biography holds nothing back, revealing the guitarist's unquenchable thirst for sex (displayed luridly in the German porno films he starred in) and his indomitable will for control. It also offers interpretations of the songs as a means of understanding Berry's life. Unfortunately, it also shares the major shortcoming of other Berry biographies-no interviews with Berry-so readers only get a superficial idea of the man's self-image. Although not definitive, Collis's book nonetheless provides a provocative look at Berry's creativity, longevity, and influence on rock'n'roll. For most libraries.-Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Lancaster, PA ...
Review: Chuck Berry: The BiographyUser Review - Goodreads
Man oh man, he was trouble. Never did I know he did that much Jail time...
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