Thread: Chuck Berry is gone.

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  1. #1
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    Default Chuck Berry is gone.

    Soundtrack for at least two generations...

    Bye Bye Johnny B. Goode.
  2. #2
    Ambidextrous Onanist Reads Playboy for the articles
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    Oh fuck. It's all over.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    It's hard to even describe that level of influence. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were huge Chuck Berry fans, just for starters.

    I'll bet Beethoven has a few choice words for him, like...


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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    I kinda hadn't realize he was still before I heard he passed...
    A true giant who's shoulders carried pretty much all rock musicians afterwards.
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  5. #5
    Little River Band on The Run Internet Meme
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    Reminds me of back to the future. RIP, brother!
  6. #6
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    He gave so many young musicians their first gig backing a star.
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    "I'd say ALWAYS think of yourself as the listener!" - Bob Olhsson
  8. #8
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    Default Chuck Berry is gone.

    With everything else in my life, I'm having a very hard time getting my head around Chuck Berry's passing. He was my earliest guitar hero, and has been with me for as long as I can remember. I've been playing close to 35 years, and I still love his stuff.

    I do have two thoughts about him, though. First, any guitar magazine which has anything on the cover but Chuck Berryin their next issue has failed. Maybe the magazine logo - MAYBE - and then just a giant black and white shot of Chuck Berry duck walking across a stage. It's the perfect tribute, and his importance to guitar is really that big.

    Second, go listen to him and ignore the guitar for a bit. The guitar is great, but his songs are much better. There is no better rock and roll lyricist than Chuck Berry. His turn of phrase is on par with Paul Simon, Lenord Cohen, Stephen Sondheim, or any other genius you care to mention. It is easily obscured by the guitar, but the words are the thing!

    RIP, Mr Berry. There will never be another one like you.


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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    Gabe, I'm kind of surprised that you didn't bring up a pioneering aspect of Berry's style.

    Chuck Berry, and in a parallel universe, BB King, introduced/ popularized the use of extra light gauge strings before any were commercially available.

    I don't know who first came up with the idea, but the gist of it was (from what I've read) that you'd get a the lightest gauge strings available, which would more or less be considered medium gauge today, then you'd toss the low E, put the A string where the low E would normally be, the D where the A normally would go, and so on.

    The you'd repace the high E, which had become a B, with a banjo string.

    It wasn't until the late '60s Ernie Ball started selling sets of extra light strings in stores.
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

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  10. #10
    Middle Handicapper...short game needs work Real purdy mouth
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    Massive influence. However his prison visits were for some very unsavoury things which has tainted his Rep, for me.


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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.


    It wasn't until the late '60s Ernie Ball started selling sets of extra light strings in stores.
    Er, no. Your facts were good up to this point. Ernie Ball introduced Slinkies in the early '60s (1962, according to the Ernie Ball website) The Ventures Mosrite guitars used the Super Slinkies as their official set and couldn't really use anything else, as the vibrato tailpiece had an offset string hole for the B string designed for the Super Slinky that help the guitar maintain tune when the bar was used better than other designs, such as the competing and very similar Bigsby. I remember both the Mosrite guitars and the Ernie Ball strings being featured at my local guitar shop when I was just learning to play, which would have been no later than late 1962 or early 1963.
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    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    However his prison visits were for some very unsavoury things which has tainted his Rep, for me.
    Yeah, right. It's OK for white rock stars to cavort with underage groupies, but black ones go to jail. Especially if they have huge appeal to white audiences.
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  13. #13
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    Er, no. Your facts were good up to this point. Ernie Ball introduced Slinkies in the early '60s (1962, according to the Ernie Ball website)
    Er, no. Revisit the website. Nothing about Super Slinkys in the early ''60s.

    The Ventures Mosrite guitars used the Super Slinkies as their official set and couldn't really use anything else
    Corroboration, or it's an acid flashback.

    I remember both the Mosrite guitars and the Ernie Ball strings being featured at my local guitar shop when I was just learning to play, which would have been no later than late 1962 or early 1963.
    They weren't sets of Super Slinkys. His shop supposedly allowed musicians to mix and match string gauges but the pink Super Slinkys sets didn't come out until the late '60s.

    They may have been available in CA before they were in NY, which was about '69, '70. I started to use them in '71, when they still were packaged with extra B and high E strings.
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

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    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    Er, no. Revisit the website. Nothing about Super Slinkys in the early ''60s.
    Not Super Slinkies, Slinkies. And it's there, just look for it.

    Corroboration, or it's an acid flashback.
    It's truth. You couldn't play a Ventures Mosrite with normal strings. Not without a refret, and even the the whammy wouldn't work properly. Not only was it compensated for Super Slinkies, the spring was chosen for tension balance with Super Slinkies. Furthermore the guitars had a zero fret, with a metal string guide behind it. Due to the fact that the guitar had micro frets that were lower than any others in the world including Gibson's "fretless wonders" the guitar was unplayable with heavier strings. (Those frets were what killed the popularity of those guitars when instrumental surf went out of vogue and people started demanding guitars you could easily bend strings on. The Ventures model frets were too low for easy bending.

    And I didn't do acid until late '66 or early '67.

    First time I saw a Ventures Mosrite was when a kid in my class named Ogden Paul, who was the kind of kid virtuoso that would have been making YooToob videos if such a thing had existed in the early '60s, brought his to Show and Tell in school and played some Ventures instrumentals for the class.



    They weren't sets of Super Slinkys. His shop supposedly allowed musicians to mix and match string gauges but the pink Super Slinkys sets didn't come out until the late '60s.
    You might believe that because you live on the East Coast.

    I, however, grew up in the comparatively enlightened state of Oklahoma.

    And you shouldn't treat Wikipedia as a definitive authority because it isn't, ESPECIALLY on matters concerning the electric guitar. Hell, I'VE had to correct errors in their articles on several occasions, although these days I seldom bother.

    They may have been available in CA before they were in NY, which was about '69, '70. I started to use them in '71, when they still were packaged with extra B and high E strings.
    They were available in Oklahoma long before that. It might be because Mike "Slim" Ritchey, who ran the rock and roll/folk music guitar store in Norman, Oklahoma, was a pretty eclectic guy, always looking for the latest thing and having connections that reached far beyond the immediate area. It's quite likely that Ernie Ball didn't have national distribution back then, but Mike got wind of them through their close association with Mosrite - Mike was the only Mosrite dealer in the state ast the time, if not the entire region. Rockers would come from all over to buy stuff that he had or could get that larger stores, like Driver's in Oklahoma city, which was the biggest store south of Tulsa, couldn't get. In addition top being one of the first Mosrite dealers outside California he was also a Standel dealer, one of the first Sunn dealers not on the West Coast, and one of the first Kustom dealers. He was also a Gibson dealer. I remember his having one of the first Firebirds, which was likely a prototype as it had 2 full sized humbuckers - that guitar was owned by my friend Cliff Rice who played lead guitar with the top high school band in town, The Esquires. Sadly, Cliff freaked out on acid in his first year in college and never played again...

    Some interesting characters passed through that store. When Mike himself moved down to Austin in the mid '60s the store was managed by Big John Annis, who later moved to New York to play with the Holy Modal Rounders. That's him on the Easy Rider soundtrack. When Big John left the store closed. End of an era. Richey himself went on to become something of an icon of the Austin scene. He died just about a year ago.

    Anyway, I'm not at all surprised that Slinkies were not available in NY. I distinctly remember not seeing them when visiting stores in NYC when visiting in the mid-sixties and wondering about it.

    They may have been available in CA before they were in NY, which was about '69, '70. I started to use them in '71, when they still were packaged with extra B and high E strings.
    They were packaged with extra B ans E strings from the very beginning, in the early '60s. I was pissed off when they stopped doing that.
    Last edited by John Eppstein; March 25th, 2017 at 12:39 AM.
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  15. #15
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    It's truth. You couldn't play a Ventures Mosrite with normal strings. Not without a refret, and even the the whammy wouldn't work properly.
    I don't know if this is correct or not but here is a reference to :

    "The instrument came with a padded white leather strap, two vibrato springs (for regular and light gauge strings) and was shipped in a deluxe hard shell case."

    https://books.google.com/books?id=8K...trings&f=false

    Due to the fact that the guitar had micro frets that were lower than any others in the world including Gibson's "fretless wonders" the guitar was unplayable with heavier strings.
    I avoid micro frets, but what does the profile of the fret have to do with string gauge?

    (Those frets were what killed the popularity of those guitars when instrumental surf went out of vogue and people started demanding guitars you could easily bend strings on. The Ventures model frets were too low for easy bending.
    You wouldn't be able to sell them on the East Coast after 1967. People were into Hendrix and Cream, having moved on from surf music, and the Ventures model would have been seen as worthless, and rightly so.

    It would have been seen as more expensive than a Jazzmaster, uglier, too (I know, eye of the beholder, but, shit...) And, of course, all the local music stores had Fender franchises.

    You might believe that because you live on the East Coast.

    I, however, grew up in the comparatively enlightened state of Oklahoma.
    Yer killing me!

    I remember his having one of the first Firebirds, which was likely a prototype as it had 2 full sized humbuckers
    I've never seen one of those. In the first "band" I was in, in jr. high, the guitarist had one with P-90s (and a Deluxe Reverb!) Man, I LOVED that guitar! Of course, it didn't hurt that my only reference was my own first electric, which was the worst piece of hock shop garbage imaginable.
    Anyway, I'm not at all surprised that Slinkies were not available in NY. I distinctly remember not seeing them when visiting stores in NYC when visiting in the mid-sixties and wondering about it.
    I'm not surprised either. It wasn't until '70 or '71 when Guitar Player did an interview of Eric Clapton that they became mainstream, apparently. Super Slinkys, that is.
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

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    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

    Greedle
  16. #16
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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    Yeah, right. It's OK for white rock stars to cavort with underage groupies, but black ones go to jail. Especially if they have huge appeal to white audiences.

    Yup, it was almost certainly a setup, and would NEVER have happened if he'd been white.


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    Default Re: Chuck Berry is gone.

    I don't know if this is correct or not but here is a reference to :

    "The instrument came with a padded white leather strap, two vibrato springs (for regular and light gauge strings) and was shipped in a deluxe hard shell case."

    https://books.google.com/books?id=8K...trings&f=false
    For some reason I can't copy and paste out of that article, but about a paragraph below iut says that they were distributing Mosrite guitars and "Ventures-Mosrite strings". Those strings were Ernie Ball Super Slinkies or possibly Extra Super Slinkies. In Oklahoma the were sold uder the Ernie Ball name, If youi look at the lettering on present day EB strings and compare to thje old Mosrite lettering You'll see a definite resemblance. It may be that the first couple nor few years that the strings were badges "Ventures Mosrite by Ernie Ball or something similar. Interestingly enough the article says that the guitars and strings were distributed in NY in 1965. I AM absolutely positive that for the first 5 or so years I played electric guitar (starting around 1964) I used nothing but Super Slinky and Extra Super Slinky strings on electric guitar.



    I avoid micro frets, but what does the profile of the fret have to do with string gauge?
    The Mosrite micro frets were so tiny that the guitar simply would not work with a thicker string. It was ridiculous. A "heavy" string for one of those was a 10. You almost play the instrument just by looking at it and breathing heavy.

    You wouldn't be able to sell them on the East Coast after 1967. People were into Hendrix and Cream, having moved on from surf music, and the Ventures model would have been seen as worthless, and rightly so.
    Or anywhere else. I wish I'd picked up a few back then. ASlso some of the double necks. 6/12, 6/octave, 6/mando, and 6/bass, all of which hung on the wall; at Richey's at one time or another.

    It would have been seen as more expensive than a Jazzmaster, uglier, too (I know, eye of the beholder, but, shit...) And, of course, all the local music stores had Fender franchises.
    IMO the Ventures with the space-age design and hot-rod colors were MUCH more attractive than Jazzsmasters and Jaguars, which looked clunky by comparison. And all of which became equally unpopular....

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    I've never seen one of those. In the first "band" I was in, in jr. high, the guitarist had one with P-90s (and a Deluxe Reverb!) Man, I LOVED that guitar! Of course, it didn't hurt that my only reference was my own first electric, which was the worst piece of hock shop garbage imaginable.
    I've never seen another and never met anyone who has, either. That's why I think it was probably a prototype.

    I'm not surprised either. It wasn't until '70 or '71 when Guitar Player did an interview of Eric Clapton that they became mainstream, apparently. Super Slinkys, that is.
    Well, I guess it depends on what circles you ran in.
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????

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