Chuck Berry, who paved the way for generations of musicians, passed away today. He was 90 years old. Berry started blazing his own trail in music at age 15, when he did a standing ovation worthy performance of Jay McShann’s “Confessin’ the Blues” at a high school talent show.
Over the span of his long and incredible career, Berry wrote and sang over 20 Rock ‘n’ Roll classics, such as “Maybellene”, “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Back in the U.S.A.” Known as the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Berry also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Association International Hall of Fame. His music went on to not only transcend race and time, but it even entered outer space, as Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” played through a phonograph record on two Voyager space crafts that were launched in 1977.
“Chuck Berry is rock and roll. The undisputed original poet laureate, he influenced every rock and roll artist after him and every guitarist that ever plugged in,” said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame President and CEO Greg Harris.
Here are eight quotes from Chuck Berry to help remember his legacy.
1. “Don’t let the same dog bite you twice.”
2. “It’s amazing how much you can learn if your intentions are truly earnest.”
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3. “Of the five most important things in life, health is first, education or knowledge is second, and wealth is third. I forget the other two.”
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4. “Music is an important part of our culture and record stores play a vital part in keeping the power of music alive.”
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5. “Praise doesn’t mean anything to me. I don’t judge myself.”
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6. “If the people in the audience are talking, you’re being ignored. If the people are gazing at you, you’ve got something they want to hear.”
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7. “Everything I wrote about wasn’t about me, but about the people listening.”
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8. “It amazes me when I hear people say, ‘I want to go out and find out who I am.’ I always knew who I was…”