No Particular Place To Go - Chuck Berry (1964)
Our LCM Classic this week is our tribute to the great Chuck Berry, one of the kings and pioneers of 'Rock and Roll', who sadly passed away yesterday. Chuck leaves an amazing legacy of amazing and timeless music. Including this live version of 'No Particular Place To Go' first released in May 1964. The song is comical four verse story. In the first verse the narrator is cruising in his car with his girlfriend, and they kiss. In the second they start to cuddle, and drive slow. In the third they decide to park (on the Kokomo) and take a walk, but are unable to release the seat-belt. In the last verse they drive home, defeated by the recalcitrant seat-belt. https://youtu.be/cpitvLeNjuE
With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Chuck refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive. Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Chuck was a major influence on subsequent rock music.
Born into a middle-class African-American family in St. Louis, Missouri, Chuck had an interest in music from an early age and gave his first public performance at Sumner High School. While still a high school student he was convicted of armed robbery and was sent to a reformatory, where he was held from 1944 to 1947. After his release, Chuck settled into married life and worked at an automobile assembly plant. By early 1953, influenced by the guitar riffs and showmanship techniques of the blues musician T-Bone Walker, Chuck began performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio. His break came when he traveled to Chicago in May 1955 and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess, of Chess Records. With Chess he recorded "Maybellene"—Chuck's adaptation of the country song "Ida Red"—which sold over a million copies, reaching number one on Billboard magazine's rhythm and blues chart. By the end of the 1950s, Chuck was an established star with several hit records and film appearances and a lucrative touring career. He had also established his own St. Louis nightclub, Berry's Club Bandstand. But in January 1962, he was sentenced to three years in prison for offenses under the Mann Act—he had transported a 14-year-old girl across state lines.
After his release in 1963, Berry had several more hits, including "No Particular Place to Go", "You Never Can Tell", and "Nadine". But these did not achieve the same success, or lasting impact, of his 1950s songs, and by the 1970s he was more in demand as a nostalgic performer.
Chuck was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986; he was cited for having "laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance." He is included in several of Rolling Stone magazine's "greatest of all time" lists; he was ranked fifth on its 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll includes three of Berry's: "Johnny B. Goode", "Maybellene", and "Rock and Roll Music". Chuck's "Johnny B. Goode" is the only rock-and-roll song included on the Voyager Golden Record.