It always seemed strange to me that John Lennon is dead and Elvis Presley is dead but Chuck Berry was still not only alive but, until just a few years ago, still performing. But now he's passed away at the age of 90.
I can't add anything to what John Lennon and Keith Richards and Eric Clapton have said about Chuck Berry. "If you had to give rock’n’roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry," John Lennon once said. We could blame all the troubles with the law Berry had for the fact that he's not as often discussed or the fact that he was black and recorded his first great songs in 1950s America. I'd suggest his corporeal longevity was a part of it. "Oh, how they'll love me after I'm dead," Orson Welles once said to Peter Bognadovich and of course he was right. A living man is harder to make into a legend in the public imagination because there's always a chance he'll go and do something human.
But you can't deny the power that man had with a guitar, the razor precision of his vocals, his playful, often unabashedly sexual lyrics. His song "My Ding a Ling" was about exactly what you think it's about.
The guy seemed inexhaustible, certainly insatiable.