KING BERRY

Rock's originator reunites with B.B. King—the club, anyway

Water is wet, taxes are high, and Chuck Berry is the greatest, most important pioneer of rock music—these are the irrefutables of life. (Well, if you're Chuck Berry, you have a few additional ideas about taxes, but anyway. . . . ) The St. Louis, Missouri, songwriter behind "Johnny B. Goode," "Maybellene," and "Rock and Roll Music" was one of the first to deliver the guitar solos, fun-lovin' lyrics, and racial integration of fans that turned r&b into rock and roll, and even if his songs were originally stolen and rerecorded by young, clean-cut, white pop bands (including, sigh, the Beach Boys), Berry has been vindicated a hundredfold since that contentious '50s breakout era. After all, he turns 84 this October and, with a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction and endless accolades in his pocket, he's still a razor-sharp, inspiring, and inspired live performer. Everyone else in his wake can just roll over.
Fri., June 25, 8 p.m., 2010

 
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