Last October, on his 90th birthday, Chuck Berry announced Chuck, his first studio album in 38 years. The rock n’ roll pioneer died March 18th, but his new album will be released.
The original announcement said the album would be comprised primarily of new, original songs written, recorded and produced by him.
“My darlin’ I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes,” Berry wrote in a statement for the new album. His last album, Rock It, was released in 1979.
Since Chuck’s passing, the Berry family says it has received many inquiries about the status of his forthcoming album. According to the Berry estate, the promotional campaign planned by his label called for the release of “further details and music from the album this week”, a plan that remains in place even after Berry’s passing.
“Chuck Berry was a rock and roll original. A gifted guitar player, an amazing live performer, and a skilled songwriter whose music and lyrics captured the essence of 1950s teenage life,” The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame said in a statement.
Here’s some of the memorable quotes from the musicians and performers influenced by Chuck Berry.
Jerry Lee Lewis, quoting his mother: “Now you and Elvis are pretty good but you ain’t Chuck Berry.”
Keith Richards: “He’s the only guy who hit me that I never got back.”
Joe Perry of Aerosmith: “People will always cover Chuck Berry songs. When bands go do their homework, they will have to listen to Chuck Berry. If you want to learn about rock ‘n’ roll, if you want to play rock ‘n’ roll, you have to start there.”
John Lennon: “If you tried to give rock ‘n’ roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry.'”
Eric Clapton: “If you want to play rock ‘n’ roll or any upbeat number … you end up playing like Chuck.”
Donald Fagen of Steely Dan: “The idea of intelligent rock ‘n’ roll probably starts with Chuck Berry.”
Bruce Springsteen, remembering the time when his band backed up Berry: “I said, ‘Well, Chuck …,’ and he said, ‘What?’ And I said, ‘What songs are we going to do?’ And he said, ‘Well, we’re going to do some Chuck Berry songs.’ That’s all he said.”
Mick Jagger: “I met him loads of times and always got on well. But I think Keith (Richards) always thought of him as more of a hero than I did and therefore was more disappointed with him when he was rather rude and overbearing.”
Tayllor Hackford, director of Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll, a documentary chronicling Berry’s 60th birthday concert: “As a director, you’re used to controlling things and with Chuck Berry, you never control. It was like riding a bucking bronco. He pulled the rug out from under all of us. Was he an easy man? Absolutely not.”