In this year of Bo Diddley’s passing, we should be even more grateful that we’ve got the greatest articulator of rock and roll still duck-walking among us. Aside from Fats Domino (almost undone by Katrina), the Georgia Peach Little Richard, and the Killer, Chuck Berry is the last vital founder of rock and roll, virtually without peer. The sole boon from Cadillac Records may be that the wider public becomes interested in truly celebrating and studying the genius of the titan rendered so vividly by Mos Def in theaters. Berry has appeared to be brilliant, vainglorious, mercurial, mercenary, priapic, and, above all—as befits a legend—the consummate master of his guitar-stoked art. And we wouldn’t want him any other way; expect this annual New Year’s extravaganza to be volatile and unforgettable. Play on, play on, brother!

Wed., Dec. 31, 8 & 11 p.m., 2008

Archive Highlights