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Chuck Berry: the genius who invented the modern world

The American musician, who died aged 90 this week, sold a seductive vision of America

By John McTernan  
Chuck Berry: master of rock'n'roll © Globe Photos/Zuma Press/PA Images

Chuck Berry: master of rock'n'roll © Globe Photos/Zuma Press/PA Images

There I was, a teenage Scot on a pilgrimage to Rough Trade records in Ladbroke Grove in west London, when something new and unusual started to play. “Back in the USA” said the Boston accent, “by Chuck Berry as done by The Modern Lovers.” It was the legendary Jonathan Richman who had formed The Modern Lovers and had his first album produced by the Velvet Underground’s John Cale, only to see…

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