Chuck Berry – No Particular Place To Go

At the same yard sale that I purchased LA Woman by the Doors for 10 cents I got a Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits album for the same price. That is when I became a huge Chuck Berry fan. This song in particular (no pun intended) caught my attention.

“No Particular Place To Go” was written at a time when Chuck Berry had literally no place to go… He was in prison…he also wrote Nadine in there. He was convicted in late 1961 of violating the Mann Act. Berry served one and one-half years in prison, from February 1962 to October 1963.

When he returned he was now facing the British invasion with the Beatles and the other bands out of England.

This song was released on his album St. Louis to Liverpool album in 1964. Music critic Dave Marsh named it “one of the greatest rock & roll records ever made.” The album peaked at #124 in the Billboard Album Charts. The album included You Never Can Tell and Promised Land.

St. Louis to Liverpool - Wikipedia

No Particular Place to Go peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100, #6 in Canada, #3 in the UK, and #2 in New Zealand in 1964.

From Songfacts

 Chuck first saw the inside of a slammer back in the 1940s due to a youthful folly, but it is fair to say that since then his encounters with the law have been more low key and if anything somewhat contrived.

Although this song didn’t enrage Mrs. Whitehouse like his later, number one hit, in which he offered to show us his ding-a-ling, it is fairly laden with innuendo, although of the tragic kind, because herein, our hero is unable to unfasten his safety belt.

“No Particular Place To Go” was released in May 1964 backed by the instrumental “Liverpool Drive”, and is instantly recognizable as a Berry composition with his distinctive, clean cut guitar style. 

No Particular Place To Go

Riding along in my automobile
My baby beside me at the wheel
I stole a kiss at the turn of a mile
My curiosity running wild
Crusin’ and playin’ the radio
With no particular place to go

Riding along in my automobile
I’s anxious to tell her the way I feel
So I told her softly and sincere
And she leaned and whispered in my ear
Cuddlin’ more and drivin’ slow
With no particular place to go

No particular place to go
So we parked way out on ko-ko-mo
The night was young and the moon was gold
So we both decided to take a stroll
Can you image the way I felt
I couldn’t unfasten her safety belt

Riding along in my calaboose
Still trying to get her belt a-loose
All the way home I held a grudge
For the safety belt that wouldn’t budge
Crusin’ and playing the radio
With no particular place go

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

20 thoughts on “Chuck Berry – No Particular Place To Go”

  1. Great tune. From the moment I first listened to “Johnny B. Goode” some 40 years ago, I loved Chuck Berry. And tried to figure out the guitar part, but I’ve always kind of sucked on the electric! 🙂

    While he didn’t invent classic rock & roll (I think no music genre is invented by one artist only), there’s a reason why John Lennon called him Mr. Rock & Roll. Undoubtedly, rock & roll would have been different without Berry.

    In addition to an infectious groove and cool (if repetitive) guitar licks, Berry’s lyrics were pretty clever – something I had not paid attention to for the longest time. And, as your first clip illustrates, he was a born showman!

    My favorite Berry album is “Chuck Berry is on Top.” With classics like “Carol”, Maybellene”, “Johnny B. Goode”, “Little Queenie” and “Roll Over Beethoven”, it might as well have been called great hits of classic rock & roll.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was one of the first rock story tellers…Yea music is built layer upon layer of different artists…at least that is my theory.

      I’ve had some greatest hits by him that of course I’ve loved. He influenced everyone from Keith Richards to Bruce Springsteen and everyone in between.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think one of the most hilarious situations was when Chuck Berry gave Keith Richards a guitar lesson on how to properly hold the notes in the main lick for “Carol”. The facial expressions of both artists are just priceless.

        Apparently, Keith also once committed the sin to touch Berry’s guitar, who punched him in the face for it.

        I guess Berry wasn’t somebody to mess around with! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh I loved that…Hail Hail Rock and Roll was great…Keith said Chuck was on the only man to punch him and not get punched back…
        Yes he could be difficult to say the least.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope he at least had his ding-a-ling when he was there with no particular place to go!
    A fine rock classic – a lot of modern artists owe him a debt of gratitude for how he changed music

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The story telling was really important for people like Bruce…heck Keith Richards owes ALOT to him with his guitar playing….plus he had some great songs.


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