In Memoriam : Chuck Berry (1926-2017)

Chuck Berry by Guy Peellaert, from the Rock Dreams series (1970-1973). Photomontage, ink and paint on paper.

Once upon a time, Chuck was Charles, just another flash dude in a barbershop. A brown-eyed handsome man, it's true, but all his sass had no direction and he felt trapped. Then one day, while he was sweeping up some loose clippings, he slipped and almost took a tumble. Instead of falling flat on his face, however, he did the splits and came up on his haunches, skipping like a Cossack. Thus was invented the Duck Walk. 

That changed everything. In an instant, he was transformed into a superman. They called him the St. Louis Tiger and he was a poet, a lover, a necromancer.

"This man and his Duck Walk", said Alan Freed, "are destined to make history..."

—Nik Cohn