Since Chuck Berry’s passing Saturday, you’ve undoubtedly seen the John Lennon quote, “If you tried to give rock n’ roll another name, you might have to call it Chuck Berry”.
Great succinct line that says more about Berry’s contribution and influence than any long winded assessment ever could.
Searching to find out when and where Lennon said these words and in what context, I found a clip where Lennon says the line on The Mike Douglas Show in 1972, after being prodded by Douglass to read an intro off a cue card. Is this Lennon reading his own quote or is it actually the words of a writer on Douglass’s afternoon talk and variety show?
but what followed were two of rocks most influential artists teaming up for Memphis and Johnny B. Goode with Elephant’s Memory and Yoko (on bongoes!) backing them up. This was the first meeting between John and Berry and as the story goes Chuck was rude to Lennon giving him a hard time about how he never received royalties for the Beatles covering his songs. But in the interview it seems like they were getting on alright. It’s cool to see Lennon be a fan.
If you’ve got ten minutes, it’s worth watching this historic moment in daytime TV.