To do that ... I happen to write!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Johnny be Good tonight!

I always used to think that this sort of meant ‘Johnny be a good boy’, in it’s general sense, as sometimes kids are told at home: “Johnny – don’t be troublesome, be a good sincere boy.” 
    But after having listened to it several times, I suddenly realized that this in fact means: “Johnny, be awesome. Irrespective of your background, and your knowledge of the world – you can be awesome. So go, become!” Since that sudden realization, it has become almost an inspirational song to me!

Though it is a completely different thing altogether that the song isn’t “Johnny Be Good” but is “Johnny B. Goode” which apparently refers to the name of the song's protagonist! But now that I already have an image of this song in my mind, I choose to ignore this fact!

Moreover, I have seen Chuck Berry say to John Lennon in one of their live performances “Johnny - let’s be good!”. And it is widely believed that "Johnny B. Goode" song is actually autobiographical - i.e. it talks about Chuck Berry himself, and that the words 'country boy' in the song were originally 'colored boy'. So in effect the meaning of the song remains unchanged whatever the name might be...

Here are some of my favorite lines:

His mother told him "Someday you will be a man,
And you will be the leader of a big old band.
Many people coming from miles around
To hear you play your music when the sun go down
Maybe someday your name will be in lights
Saying Johnny B. Goode tonight"

After listening to this verse, it is worth noting that Chuck Berry, now at an age of 85, still goes around the world doing live performances with local bands!

Obviously, the guitar is kick-ass bluey! Almost every major rock and roll band has covered this song. I love the original version along with the one where Jimi Hendrix comes together with B.B. King. That's epic! Go choose your favorite version...


  1. This song features on my list of greatest guitar riffs of all times! :) One of my all-time-favs! :)