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Chuck Berry Quotes

Charles Edward Anderson Berry

Chuck Berry quotes: a pioneer of rock and roll offers his words of wisdom.

“It’s amazing how much you can learn if your intentions are truly earnest.”

“I used to work at Kroger’s. When the store opened, you were there. When I worked in an automobile plant, you punched in. So it showed if you were a minute late. If you have a paid job, you show up.”

“Respect isn’t enough. You’ve got to have a proprietary interest.”

“Back in the classroom, open your books, keep up.”

“Don’t let the same dog bite you twice.”

“There had to be a market in order for you to be successful in a business. The market had to need your business, or the product of it.”

“Sometime we’ll try and reach for things we know we each want and don’t deserve.”

“It amazes me when I hear people say, ‘I want to go out and find out who I am.’ I always knew who I was. I was going to be famous if it killed me. I have lots of ambition!”

“I don’t want the bottom, so I have to sacrifice the top.”

“I just feel I got my inspiration, education and all from others that came before me.”

“If you’re going to be mad, at least let the people know what you’re mad about.”

“Science and religion are both the same thing. They’re there; they’re life. If it’s not science, it’s not a fact. Music is science. Everything is science. Because science is truth.”

“Prejudice doesn’t make me mad. It just—I guess ‘pisses me off’ is the word.”

“I made records for people who would buy them. No color, no ethnic, no political—I don’t want that, never did.”

“Music is an important part of our culture. Music should be made to make people forget their problems, if only for a short while.”

“That’s all there was in our house: poetry and choir rehearsal and duets and so forth; I listened to dad and mother discuss things about poetry and delivery and voice and diction; I don’t think anyone could know how much it really means.”

“I grew up thinking art was pictures until I got into music and found I was an artist and didn’t paint.”

“You don’t just go to the studio and say, ‘I’m going to write a hit.’ It becomes a hit when people like your compositions.”

“Actually I’m writing as best I can, in order to keep the momentum and the career there, but I want to live.”

“Everything I wrote about wasn’t about me, but about the people listening. Most of my songs come from either personal experience or other people’s experiences or from ideas I get from watching people. I would say that I aim specifically to entertain and make people happy with my music, which is why I try to put as much humor into my lyrics as possible.”

“The gateway to freedom was somewhere close to New Orleans where most Africans were sorted through and sold. I had driven through New Orleans on tour and I’d been told my great grandfather had lived way back up in the woods among the evergreens in a log cabin. I revived the era with a song about a colored boy named Johnny B. Goode. My first thought was to make his life follow as my own had come along, but I thought it would seem biased to white fans to say ‘colored boy’ and changed it to ‘country boy.'”

“A contract is an ask game, and if it asks for an hour, and I submit to an hour, then it’s an hour. When I look at a contract, I look at the obligation: where, when, how long, the compensation. If I agree to it, that’s the way it is. I have an obligation. They have an obligation.”

“Rock ‘n’ roll accepted me and paid me. Even though I loved the big bands I went that way because I wanted a home of my own. I had a family. I had to raise them. Let’s don’t leave out the economics. No way.”

“It’s gotta be rock and roll music, if you wanna dance with me. If you want to release your aggression, get up and dance. That’s what rock and roll is all about.”

“Praise doesn’t mean anything to me. I don’t judge myself.”

“In a way, I feel it might be ill-mannered to try and top myself. The music I play is a ritual. Something that matters to people in a special way. I wouldn’t want to interfere with that.”

“It’s not me to toot my horn. The minute you toot your horn, it seems like society will try and disconnect your battery. And if you do not toot your horn, they’ll try their darnedest to give you a horn to toot, or say that you should have a horn.”

“I’m just me, not always doing my duck walk or picking guitar. I sit and think, cry, freak out, or just plain do nothing. I was not and will never be one who can come to accept the honor or gratitude that is forwarded from those who see in me that which is only an image they conceive.”

“People said I was king, but I was never king, and I say I’m the prime minister.”

“Over 50 years of changes and chance, and there was little that had need of attention other than the need for some attention.”

“The greatest highs I’ve ever had in life have come from a mob of as many as 62,000 voices, and also from the moan of one.”

“This is my 1963 Ford. It was the only car I could A-Ford.”

“Don’t bother me, leave me alone. Anyway, I’m almost grown.”

“One of my realizations is that if you revel over joy, you’re going to ache over pain and get killed over hurt. Your span of feelings are going to go just as far one way as the other.”

“Rather than have joy, I would rather be absent of pain.”

“My father married once. I married once. This is a conviction of ours. This is the way we grew up.”

“On success: I was the first child in the family to own a Cadillac, the first to have a formal wedding, the first to fly to Europe, first to earn a half-million dollars, and the first one to admit I was wrong.”

“Of the five most important things in life, health is first, education or knowledge is second, and wealth is third. I forget the other two.”

“I wouldn’t be out there anymore if it was money only. My money is making enough money for me to live on—not only me but all my people. The money is never ignored. I wouldn’t work benefit after benefit the rest of my life. But it isn’t the main reason I go out anymore.”

“I have so many entities now; as you grow older you gain responsibilities, you know, real estate, and I like video, and you know I want to live a little you know, because time is passing, it’s not as long as it has been.”

“I’m a millionaire, but I cut the grass. And each time I cut it, it’s my grass. And that is satisfying.”

“I’m thankful for each and every day. We never know when time is up.”

“I want to leave sweating, hot and happy and hearing the applause.”

“I’m super-appreciative. The Man upstairs is taking care of me.”

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