Rest in Peace Allen Toussaint
I didn't have one before: works for me, too.Thanks.
When I was a sophomore in high school, a precocious junior, who would become a lawyer and music promoter years later, somehow managed to snag Chuck Berry to play in the small gym of my Catholic high school in a suburb of Boston. My friends and I stood awestruck twenty feet away from Berry the whole night as he played just about every hit in his catalog. James Brown might have claimed the title of hardest working man in show business, but that night Berry was at the very least an equal. He was all over the stage duck-walking and gyrating and the sweat was pouring off him in buckets. A high school and he performed like he was playing a major concert venue!!! Berry was forty seven at the time, two years younger than my father. Yet to young teenagers like my friends and me, Berry seemed ageless. I'm not sure whether we had already realized what a pioneer and innovator he was but we damned sure knew we were seeing something special. All of these years later what strikes me is that Berry could have given a performance on automatic co-pilot. After all, we were a small high school audience, not much larger than a juke joint audience, and not exactly in a venue that would garner major press coverage. But we were in the presence of a great talent and fortunately just old enough to know it. I was not surprised to learn of his passing but he seemed to be one of those larger than life talents, like B. B. King, whom one wistfully hoped just might achieve immortality because there was never a moment in my life when he wasn't a domineering music influence. I have larger Berry compilations but not this one; thanks so much.