When Chuck Berry Shares His Love For The Beatles and Their Covers
Chuck Berry live at the BBc Theatre, 1972 - Jimmy Saa / Youtube
Before The Beatles became legends on their own, they were once these teenagers who admired the blues scene of the 1950s. Among the many artists that they adored so much were Americans: Little Richard, Buddy Holly, and Elvis Presley. But perhaps, if there’s one person worth noting the influence he gave to the Fab Four, Chuck Berry would be in it.
“From the first minute we heard the great guitar intro to ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’ we became fans of the great Chuck Berry,” Paul McCartney once wrote this in his blog. “His stories were more like poems than lyrics — the likes of ‘Johnny B. Goode’ or ‘Maybellene.’ To us, he was a magician making music that was exotic yet normal at the same time,” Paul explained how he could never fathom how much Berry meant for the quartet, and that they all considered the Godfather of Rock and Roll as one of the greatest legends in the world.
It’s no doubt that this praise remained true mainly because Berry’s hits were often included in the band’s set during their early 1960s gigs. Not only that, but when the Beatles started to release their albums, they have also covered two of Berry’s remarkable hits: “Roll Over Beethoven” in With The Beatles (1963) and “Rock and Roll Music” in Beatles for Sale.
But, as it turns out, the feelings of both parties were mutual. Just like how The Beatles respect Berry, Berry also has praises for the British lads and even named “Yesterday” as his favorite song from them. “My appreciation of music is not actually with an artist, but it’s with a song,” Berry said. “Of course, the artist is involved. But each song has its own glory, and ‘Yesterday’ was the highest of The Beatles.”
Later, he would compliment the band’s cover of his song “Rock and Roll Music,” calling it wonderful. “One thing that The Beatles did when they copied other artists, they laid with not only the feeling but the music which was great because you can recognize right off that it’s the original artist’s number,” he added. It seems like legends do appreciate legends.
You can watch The Beatles’ cover of Chuck Berry’s “Rock and Roll Music” below.