Chuck Berry

I thought I would take a break from talking about beer, to give a mention to the late, great Chuck Berry, who passed away this weekend at the grand old age of 90.

I was lucky enough to see him live twice; once in the mid 1990s at a packed Theatre Royal in Nottingham, and then again in around 2004 when I took my mother to see him in Wolverhampton, where he was on tour alongside another great, Jerry Lee Lewis. I read a quote today by Jerry Lee: "My momma always said, 'you and Elvis are pretty good, but y'all aint no Chuck Berry' ".

I feel very fortunate to have had the privilege of seeing Chuck perform in person; and yes, even in his late seventies, he was still superb.

But of course, like most people of my age, my first introduction to Chuck Berry was an appearance on Top Of The Pops in the early 1970s, when he had an unlikely hit with a song in which he played with his Ding-A-Ling, and encouraged us all to play with our own Ding-A-Lings. Well Chuck, if you're listening up there, you'll be pleased to know I've been playing with my Ding-A-Ling ever since.

Stephen Gee