Noise An Arts Blog
Blogs Noise

R.I.P. to Chuck Berry—rock innovator and legend, Bmore club-ized on DJ Technics' 'Ding-A-Ling'

About an hour ago, it was announced that Chuck Berry, rock n' roll hero who never quite got his due, creator of rhythmic rock swagger, and, it should be noted, a rather pervy guy possibly—infamously, a restaurant he owned had a hidden camera in the women's bathroom which he claims was there to catch a thief but 59 women sued him and though he never admitted guilt, he did settle—died at the age of 90.

You can and should jump onto Spotify or YouTube and run through his many, many hits such as 'Maybellene,' 'Roll Over Beethoven,' 'Johnny B. Goode,' and 'You Never Can Tell' and luxuriate in their gritty, proto-punk-like energy. A personal favorite Berry tune is 'You Can't Catch Me' from 1956. It's one of those car-as-freedom songs that's all strum and stomp that'd be covered by the Rolling Stone, and later quoted by the Beatles and the Boss, and it sits comfortably right next to 'Maybellene,' the O.G. car-as-woman song that would continue to dominate pop's male psyche all the way into the '90s when dirty south rappers embraced the strange conceit (see: UGK's 'Chrome Plated Woman').

Baltimoreans have specifically enjoyed Chuck Berry's stylings via a Baltimore club classic from DJ Technics that samples Berry's 1972 version of dirty-joke ditty, 'My Ding-A-Ling.' If you've spent any time listening to 92Q's club mixes or spent sweaty nights in, say, the Paradox or other local clubs, you've wilded-out to Technics' version which adds claps and heavy drums to Berry's silly song, essentially a PG version of club music's R-rated fuck jams and of a piece with other throwback-sampling club tracks such as Technics' 'Mr. Postman.' You can find 'Ding-A-Ling' on DJ Technics' Bandcamp—the full track here for under three bucks and contained in this 80-minute mix "Knucklehead Records Greatest Hits" from last year for 15 bucks.

Enjoy and mourn an important raucous and oft-lewd rock icon.

Copyright © 2017, Baltimore City Paper
28°