About Us

There is a good chance you found us accidentally by using the word “taint” in your search (If you found us on purpose, you deserve our accolades). Of course we don’t know what you were looking for, but you stumbled on a damn cool project. Look around; let us help send you on a musical journey. Here you will find a number of album reviews from the strange and extreme to the tame and mainstream. Our reviewers are a bunch of obsessive miscreants. Most of us are avid music collectors and have been involved in the music world for decades. A couple of us have been in or are still in bands.

There are no rules on Tickle Your Taint Blog. Our reviewers might make you laugh, or piss you off; both results are legitimate. One reviewer might write a glowing review of an album another might tear it apart. We may end up adopting a single review system, such as five stars, or each reviewer may use his own or none at all. We may have a new review every week or we could end up with one every six months. This blog exists as a social experiment to build community among a diverse group of music maniacs – our reviewers and hopefully you. Pull down your knickers, lube up and join us in tickling yours and our taints.

If you are in a band, have released a physical (rather than an MP3) CD or record, and would like us to review your efforts, contact us at tickleyourtaint@yahoo.com

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Chuck Berry (1926-2017)

On March 18, 2017, legendary Chuck Berry died. He wrote numerous hits songs and helped shape rock music. For decades, when he toured, he had local musicians back him at concerts. Later this year, his first new record in 38 years will be released. Below are a few reflections regarding Mr. Berry.

Class Warrior:
It was only after Chuck Berry died that I realized how large a place he holds in my early days. It also makes me appreciate the musical tastes of my parents a bit more. In the late seventies and early eighties, there was plenty of country music in our household—there were a few gems there (we all know who they are), but for the most part it left me cold. The stuff I really liked was the late fifties rock ‘n’ roll like Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and, of course and especially, Chuck. So much energy, passion, and skill! Sure, he says “he could play that guitar just like a-ringin’ a bell,” but it’s never that easy. Through Chuck’s music, and that of the others (and more) listed here, I formed my image of what music should sound like. I can still listen to “Roll Over Beethoven” over and over again. Not that I do, but I could.

I can’t count how many times I drove by Blueberry Hill in St. Louis, the club where Chuck played every month. It’s on Delmar Avenue just across the city limit line in an area called the University City Loop. I never went in. I was too punk, I guess. What a fool I can be. So be it. Keep ringin’ that bell, my friend. You are one of the main reasons I have all this wonderful rock music in my life.

Chuck Berry liked very young girls and got busted with weed a lot. He is the epitome of the rock star from his particular epoch. However, I don’t really want to talk about that.

Like The Beatles and others, Chuck Berry entered my ears at a very young age. It seems like he was always present. Even as a kid, I knew he had more street cred than Elvis. As a punk rock teenager, I found his music redundant and boring; despite the fact that I knew his influence was unquestionable. In my mind, he and Little Richard laid the foundation for rock ‘n’ roll and all that followed.

As I got older, I delved deeper into his work and found that he was much more diverse than I had previously imagined. Much of his music is just fun and reflects the day-to-day issues and concerns of many teenagers in the early 50s and 60s—cars, and girls, and rock ‘n’ roll. But, if you listen closely, there are also remnants of living as a black man in 1950s America. “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man” was pretty ballsey at the time, and was a statement of intent and self-agency. When I first heard the song “Downbound Train,” I realized that there was more to Chuck than “Johnny B. Goode” and “Sweet Sixteen.” Busloads of diverse people are on their way to hell; it was a precursor to AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” sung in a classic 50s rock ‘n’ roll, Sun Studios, “Blue Moon” kind of atmosphere. Remember, this was the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. The “wee wee hours” that appear in this song also appear a decade, or so, later in Springsteen’s “Open all Night” from his great Nebraska album, which illustrates the underbelly of the United States. The “wee wee hours” are a place of solace for many people, including a black man in the 1950s. Sometimes, it is safer in the dark of night. Often, this is still the case today, as the outcasts feel threatened in the light of day. Chuck Berry is truly an icon of American music, with all of its festering tumors as well as, its rebellious beauty.

In addition, I have always been blow away by the energy and vitality I have witnessed in video clips I have seen of Chuck Berry live over the years. Even in his 60s, he rocked the fuck out live. He died at the age of 90; I think he had a pretty good run. I think it is hard for younger generations to fully appreciate his influence and importance. Rock ‘n Fucking Roll. R.I.P. Chuck, R. I. Fucking P.

Unfortunately, I associate Oingo Boingo’s song, “Little Girls,” with Chuck Berry. Danny Elfman sings: “I love little girls, they make me feel so good, I love little girls, they make me feel so bad.” Latter he sings, “Uh oh, it’s a mistake…Uh oh, I’m in trouble…the little girl was just too little.” It is well-known that Chuck had some problems, which also included video taping women in a bathroom in a restaurant that he owned. Nevertheless, he was a master musician and he is owed much respect on this front.

Approximately nine years ago, I was sitting at home reading the weekly newspaper. I saw an advertisement for a free Chuck Berry concert in downtown, Raleigh, North Carolina. I thought, “Fuck yeah, we can go see the legend play.” The problem was that was 9 PM and the show started at 7 PM. Berry had already performed. Fucking hell. Disappointed, I spent most of the night on the computer watching old black-and-white footage of Chuck Berry performing. I always loved the stripped-down kick-ass sound of Chuck Berry’s songs. “Maybellene” combined country guitar licks with rock and blues. His instrumental song “Deep Feeling” resonates with the steel guitar. I love the groove on “Nadine” and “No Particular Place to Go.” When I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with his song “Memphis, Tennessee.” His guitar and vocals are perfect, presenting this story of heartbreak.

Chuck Berry was punk fuckin’ rock. Watch him rock the fuck out, while stiff starch-shirted youngsters sit clapping at his shows in the 1950s and 60s. Whenever I hear Chuck Berry, I want to jump around and go fuckin’ nuts. Not sure how the crows was so sedate. One thing is clear, Chuck Berry still kicks ass.