Rock n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry has died today at the age of 90. As is now customary after the death of an influential musician of his caliber, social media has flooded with fond remembrances of the impact his music had and continues to have.
A 60th birthday letter to Berry from Carl Sagan and a team of NASA scientists, however, beautifully illustrates how his music will truly last forever… or at least for the next billion years.
“When they tell you your music will live forever,” the letter says. “You can usually be sure they’re exaggerating. But Jonny B. Goode is on the Voyager interstellar records attached to NASA’s Voyager spacecraft — now two billion miles from Earth and bound for the stars. These records will last a billion years or more.
“Happy 60th birthday, with our admiration for the music you have given to this world. . .
“Go, Johnny, go.”
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. His less-political Youtube channel can be found here. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW