Chuck Berry’s music helped define the modern teenager
Rock n’ roll was more than a new kind of music, but a new story to tell, one for kids with transistor radios in their hands and money in their pockets, beginning to raise questions their parents never had the luxury to ask.
Along with James Dean and J.D. Salinger and a handful of others in the 1950s, Chuck Berry, who was 90 when he died Saturday at his suburban St. Louis home, helped define the modern teenager. While Elvis Presley gave rock n’ roll its libidinous, hip-shaking image, Berry was the auteur, setting the narrative for a generation no longer weighed down by hardship or war. Well before the rise of Bob Dylan, Berry wedded social commentary to the beat and rush of popular music.
“He was singing good lyrics, and intelligent lyrics, in the ‘50s when other people were singing, ‘Oh, baby, I love you so,’” John Lennon once observed.
“Classic rock” begins with Chuck Berry. His core repertoire was some three dozen songs, but his influence was incalculable, from the Beatles and Rolling Stones to virtually every garage band or arena act that called itself rock ‘n roll.
In his late 20s before his first major hit, Berry crafted lyrics that spoke to young people of the day and remained fresh decades later. “Sweet Little Sixteen” captured rock ‘n’ roll fandom, an early and innocent ode to the young girls later known as “groupies.” ‘’School Day” told of the sing-song trials of the classroom (”American history and practical math; you’re studying hard, hoping to pass …”) and the liberation of rock ‘n’ roll once the day’s final bell rang.
Reaction to the death of rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry
Reaction to the death of rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry at age 90:
“I am so sad to hear of Chuck Berry’s passing. I want to thank him for all the inspirational music he gave to us. He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers. His lyrics shone above others and threw a strange light on the American dream. Chuck, you were amazing, and your music is engraved inside us forever.” — Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, in a series of posts via Twitter
“One of my big lights has gone out!” — Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, in a statement
“Thou Shall Have No Other Rock Gods Before Him #ChuckBerry rip @ Rock & Roll Hall of Fame” — Drummer-producer Questlove, via Twitter
EU citizens in UK anxiously seek security before Brexit
LONDON — Sam Schwarzkopf, a German neuroscientist at University College London, was startled to receive a letter from the British government telling him that his application for permanent residence had been rejected and he should prepare to leave the U.K.
As a European Union citizen, he is legally entitled to live in Britain, and last year’s decision by U.K. voters to leave the 28-nation bloc hasn’t changed that. But he is one of hundreds of thousands of Europeans battling British bureaucracy to confirm their legal status — and sometimes discovering that the process only increases their uncertainty.
Schwarzkopf, who has lived in the U.K. since 1999 and is married to a Briton, thought his application for a permanent resident card “would be a formality.”
When he got the rejection saying he should prepare to leave, he was at first surprised, then angry.
“It’s outrageous that they use statements like that, especially at a time like this,” he said.
French police release father of Orly Airport attacker
PARIS — French police have released the father of the Orly Airport attacker who was shot and killed while taking a soldier hostage.
The Paris prosecutor’s office, which took charge of the probe after the Saturday morning attack, says the brother and a cousin of the suspect, Ziyed Ben Belgacem, remain in custody. The father was released overnight.
The office says an autopsy Sunday of the attacker’s body will include drawing blood for drug and alcohol tests.
Prosecutors say Belgacem attacked a soldier at Paris’ Orly Airport and wrested away her assault rifle. Her two colleagues shot and killed him before he could fire the military-grade weapon at the busy airport.
The attack forced Orly to shut down, sent passengers fleeing in panic and trapped hundreds aboard flights that had just landed.
Tillerson lauds China-US contacts in meeting with leader Xi
BEIJING — The United States is looking forward to the first meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday, on the final day of a swing through Asia dominated by concerns over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
In talks with Xi in Beijing, Tillerson said Trump places a “very high value” on communications with the Chinese president.
Trump looks forward to “the opportunity of a visit in the future,” Tillerson said, in an apparent reference to unconfirmed reports of plans for the two leaders to meet in Florida next month.
While few details of his talks have been released, Tillerson appeared to strike a cordial tone during his meetings in Beijing, in contrast to Trump’s tough talk on Chinese economic competition during his presidential campaign.
Xi told Tillerson that China considered his meetings Saturday with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and top diplomat Yang Jiechi to have been productive and constructive.
Turkey’s referendum campaign unfair, Erdogan opponents say
ANKARA, Turkey — Opposition figures in Turkey say they have faced threats, violence, arbitrary detentions, a lack of TV airtime and even sabotage in the campaign for a referendum on expanding the president’s powers.
The complaints come even as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself has slammed European countries for not letting his ministers campaign on their soil for the April 16 vote on giving his office more power.
Politicians campaigning against the constitutional changes proposed by Erdogan also say the state of emergency in Turkey since a failed coup attempt in July prevents them from getting their message out ahead of the vote.
“Those who advocate for a ‘no’ vote are faced with a series of obstructions,” said Utku Cakirozer, a former journalist who is now a lawmaker for the opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP.
While he, too, criticized moves by Germany and the Netherlands to stop Turkish ministers from campaigning to Turkish citizens abroad, Cakirozer said “our democracy bar has been lowered a great deal and needs to be raised rapidly.”
Republicans at odds over how to overhaul Medicaid
WASHINGTON — The House GOP health care bill has competition from other Republicans, a group of governors who’ve made their own proposal about how to overhaul Medicaid for low-income people. They’re hoping GOP senators will find their ideas more persuasive.
It’s a gradual approach, with additional options for states. It’s likely to involve more federal spending than the House bill, but also keep more people covered. In the end, though, the governors are still talking about fundamental change.
Four GOP governors are pushing the plan, saying they represent most of the 33 Republican state chief executives. There’s no inkling of any involvement by Democratic governors, and it’s hard to conceive of such major changes without them.
Medicaid is a federal-state program that covers more than 70 million low-income people, about 1 in 5 Americans. Beneficiaries range from elderly nursing home residents to newborns. Former President Barack Obama expanded the program in his health care law, to mainly help low-income adults with no children living at home. About half the 31 states that accepted the expansion have Republican governors.
The House Republican bill would start by repealing Obama’s Medicaid expansion. More significantly, it would limit overall federal spending on Medicaid going forward. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the proposal would result in a cut of $880 billion from projected Medicaid spending from 2017 to 2026. By that year, 14 million fewer people would have Medicaid coverage, and program spending would be about 25 percent lower than what’s currently projected.
Man who drove suspicious car near White House is detained
WASHINGTON — A man who drove to a security checkpoint near the White House in a car that was deemed suspicious has been detained by the U.S. Secret Service.
The car was stopped Saturday night about a quarter-mile from the White House.
The Secret Service says it’s investigating. It hasn’t said what caused the car to be considered suspicious.
Republican President Donald Trump wasn’t at the White House because he and his family are spending the weekend at his resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Earlier Saturday someone jumped a low metal barrier just outside a White House fence. About a week earlier a man breached an outer perimeter fence and scaled a vehicle gate to gain entry to the White House grounds, raising questions about lapses in security under the Secret Service’s watch.
A-Rod takes J-Lo out to the ballgame
TAMPA, Fla. — Take me out to the ballgame, A-Rod.
You got it, J-Lo.
Back at spring training with the New York Yankees as a guest instructor, Alex Rodriguez watched part of Saturday’s exhibition game against the Baltimore Orioles in a suite with singer-actress Jennifer Lopez.
The two are said to be dating.
A-Rod has been linked romantically to other Hollywood stars in the past, including Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz.
No Repeat: Villanova fails down stretch while carrying crown
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The crown may have been too heavy for Villanova.
One title will have to do.
Saddled with huge expectations and external pressure to repeat as NCAA champions, the Wildcats wilted down the stretch on Saturday and were knocked out of the tournament 65-62 by eighth-seeded Wisconsin, a team with an even richer March resume.
The end came quickly, but not necessarily unexpectedly for Villanova, which struggled in its opening-round win over Mount St. Mary’s — a game that foreshadowed a quick exit.
It was not meant to be, and with the gap between the Davids and Goliaths in college basketball growing closer and star underclassmen jumping to the NBA more frequently, a team winning back-to-back championships becomes more unlikely.
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