When Chuck Berry died Saturday at 90, the musical pioneer was justly honored as the Founding Father of rock and roll and celebrated as the architect who designed the blueprint that those who built on his innovations would follow for decades to come.
Panegyrics were passed around social media, praising the man who could play a guitar like ringing a bell, and whose posthumous album Chuck is due out June 16. (The first single, "Big Boys," is startlingly good.)
In the weeklong mourning period we're growing unfortunately accustomed to after the deaths of great musicians, plenty of fresh perspectives on the "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Johnny B. Goode" auteur have been shared.
The president of the United States himself made that point, in fact, to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush in 2005 in their caught-on-tape conversation that came to light in October and wound up not being the death blow to his electoral hopes against Hillary Clinton that pundits predicted it would be. "When you're a star, they let you do it," he said. "You can do anything."