The Old Chuck


Many people will recognize the melody of the song from Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” to which Uma Thurman and John Travolta dance to. The iconic dance and the music are inseparable now, but it is not only due to the genius of Tarantino. Behind it stands a man whose musical genius inspired generations of musicians and ordinary people.

Chuck Berry, maybe the last of great rock ‘n roll artists, passed away yesterday on March 18 at the age of 90 after having lived a life full of amazing achievements. However, now few remember and know that Chuck spent 3 years in reformatory,  after participating in a armed robbery in 1944. After being released a little has changed in his ordinary life, he was a factory worker, tried various other jobs to support his family until mid 1950s. It was exactly in 1955 that he started fallowing the musical path of blues and rock ‘n roll. His first hit was “Maybellene,” which after being released sold 1 million copies in the US only, and so made him one of the top musical artists of the time along with Elvis Presley. A song for which he is more remembered, “Roll Over Beethoven,” was released a year later in 1956 and immediately became a hit. After its release the song has been covered numerous times by different artists. Thus, slowly and gradually Chuck became as we now know him, a legend that crossed the road to the other side and carried with him the melancholic echoes of the blues era marked with wemmeless stage dances and performances.

Chuck Berry was ranked as the fifth greatest artists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004. His song “Johnny B. Goode” became so iconic that it was covered by almost every artists of 1960s and 1970s.

Today, and from now on forever, it would be impossible to imagine “Pulp Fiction” without Berry’s “You Can Never Tell.” While the musical world silently weeps the loss of an unsurpassed musician we as observers are left alone with the legacy of the Old Chuck that will always make us dance, sing and at the same time feel sad for the death of their creator.

Daniel Tahmazyan



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