A popular urban myth concerns a group of art students who passed themselves off as a band in order to con the local publican into giving them a gig in exchange for free beer. The deception worked better than intended, and the group came to be known as Mental as Anything. Nearly two decades later, they are still irritating the public with their highly listenable, idiosyncratic brand of garage pop. A self-explanatory single to reflect their success, The Nips Are Getting Bigger, rose through the charts as did their fundamental understanding of the old adage that ‘for every action there is a reaction’. Ahead lay a very lengthy pub crawl which only the accomplished could survive. […]
Not many are aware just how much The Beatles were influenced by the rock star. Chuck Berry’s songs ‘Sweet Little 16’, ‘Johnny B Goode’ and ‘Rock n Roll music’ were favourites for The Fab Five. In early 1958, Chuck Berry released ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’, a song that would change the course of music history. It ignited the urge to celebrate rock and roll in kids throughout America, but it also travelled the world and influenced four boys in Liverpool during their defining years. Five years later, the Beatles recorded ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’ only once in London before storming America in the winter of 1964. During their formative years, some of the Beatles’ biggest hits were covers of Chuck songs.
The second half of the show focuses on songs that Chuck influenced the Beatles throughout their iconic career. Chuck’s influence was on nearly every album from ‘I saw her standing there’ (off Please Please Me album) and ‘Back in the USSR’ (off The White album) through to their final album Abbey Road where some of the lyrics of ‘Come Together’ where a straight lift from Chuck’s ‘You can’t catch me’.
“From the first minute we heard the great guitar intro to ‘Sweet Little Sixteen,’ we became fans of the great Chuck Berry, his stories were more like poems than lyrics—the likes of ‘Johnny B. Goode’ or ‘Maybelline.’ To us he was a magician making music that was exotic yet normal at the same time. We learnt so many things from him which led us into a dream world of rock ‘n’ roll music”. “Chuck was and is forever more one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest legends all over the world”. – Paul McCartney
It’s hard to imagine the Beatles without Chuck Berry paving the way for them, but then again it’s impossible to imagine the last half-century of music as a whole without the inventor of rock, Chuck Berry & The Beatles!! And as John Lennon once quoted “if you wanted to give rock n roll another name – call it Chuck Berry”. […]