Since my earliest memories, music has been the single constant in my life. While it may be difficult to believe, I still remember moving into my first home; a charming duplex on an extraordinarily quaint street in Merrimac, Massachusetts. Mind you, I moved into that house when I was thirteen months old. But, to this day, I remember the boxes that hadn’t even been touched yet piled into the middle of that strange room that became my parents office, despite it being the room with the most foot traffic in the house. I remember seeing a room flooded with light in the middle of a cold day because the blinds weren’t on the windows yet. I still remember the moments in my highchair when I would eat butter just by itself, as strange as that may seem now. If I can remember the most minute details of my childhood, I most certainly can remember the music that flooded my home in my adolescence.
In the past, I’ve often pined over the 80’s and 90’s; the periods of time I latched onto from an early age, and partially grew up during. I still lust over the lush synthesizer-driven new wave music of the 80’s and the shoegaze anthems of Slowdive, Ride, My Bloody Valentine, and other shoegaze bands of the 90’s, but one style of music really stood out to me growing up, and that was rock ‘n’ roll. I still remember my dad playing old Chuck Berry tunes around my house on Tuesdays; the day he took off from work where he would put me in my jolly jumper and would clean the house while my mom was at work. I remember bouncing myself around on the twos and fours while the infectious guitar tones from the father of rock ‘n’ roll would fill the house with beautiful energy. I miss those days.
I miss the days where I didn’t struggle to pay rent. I miss the days where the only alarm was my dad’s wolf call around seven in the evening that would echo around the neighborhood signaling my adventure time was up and dinner was ready. I ache to relive the times where I would throw my stuffed animals against my ceiling fan and dodge them as they would fly towards me and my friends in my bedroom. And as uncomfortable as it may seem, I even miss my constant breaking of bones, as it reminds me of the unforgettable situations I would thrust myself into while throwing caution to the wind.
While growing up has been an absolute pleasure and success in growth and maturity, Chuck Berry’s passing has reminded me of one thing: do not forget the moments that shaped you. Thank you, Chuck. I’m not sure I would be the musician and fan of music today if it wasn’t for you wonderful compositions. You singlehandedly shaped an entire genre of music that still rules the world today. May your music live on forever.
Rest in power.