Reelin' and Rockin'
"If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry," John Lennon once said. Now listen to what Berry himself had to say. Here, to mark his birthday—the first since his recent death at the age of 90—are 15 indelible quotes from the Father of Rock and Roll.
On the Early Days
"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. I was going to be famous if it killed me."
From "Roll Over Beethoven"
"You know, my temperature's risin' / And the jukebox blows a fuse / My heart's beatin' rhythm / And my soul keeps on singin' the blues"
On What Inspired His Lyrics
"Everything I wrote about wasn't about me, but about the people listening."
"I grew up thinking art was pictures until I got into music and found I was an artist and didn't paint."
A Bit of Sound Advice
"Don't let the same dog bite you twice."
On What Really Matters
"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."
From "School Days"
"Hail, hail rock 'n roll / Deliver me from the days of old"
"It's amazing how much you can learn if your intentions are truly earnest."
On the Beatles
"A song is a song. But there are some songs, ah, some songs are the greatest. The Beatles song 'Yesterday.' Listen to the lyrics."
On Where It All Came From
"Rock is my child and my grandfather."
From "Rock and Roll Music"
"It's gotta be rock and roll music / If you wanna dance with me"
On the Blues
"I would sing the blues if I had the blues."
On Honest Work
"I'm a millionaire, but I cut the grass. And each time I cut it, it's my grass. And that is satisfying."
On Why He Drove a Toyota Avalon
"In a Toyota, the cops don't stop you as much."
Spreading the Word
"Roll over Beethoven / Tell Tchaikovsky the news"
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