Saturday, January 2, 2010


Chuck Berry performed at B.B.King's in Times Square on New Year's Eve. I was thinking of going to the show, but then I realized I might not want to see Chuck at age 83. You know I'm not ageist, but Chuck is also known to be erratic and bitter, and I don't know if I really wanted to see it.  I had some not-great experiences seeing James Brown and Ozzy Osbourne in recent years, and thought that maybe at some point you don't want to see certain artists anymore.

So today I was listening to the Chuck Berry collection, The Great Twenty-Eight. UNBELIEVABLE. Like, if you could only have one record, this would be a good one to pick. Chuck isn't as well marketed as, say, Elvis or Aretha. But you listen to this stuff and it is just perfect. One of my favorite songs ever is "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man." A two minute seventeen second gem with social commentary in it (replace "eyed" with "skinned" and you'll see how people may have been upset about it in the '50s). Anyway, if you trust me, pick up a Chuck Berry collection: I don't know if this one is still in print, if it isn't, get Gold, from the Universal Music "Gold" series, it looks like it has most of the best songs.

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