Too Much Monkey Business

Album: After School Session (1956)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Too Much Monkey Business" was released in September 1956 as the B-side of "Brown Eyed Handsome Man." In his comprehensive Berry-ography Long Distance Information: Chuck Berry's Recorded Legacy, Berry fan Fred Rothwell says this is a song about "the everyday hassles of the average working stiff" and asks, "Who but Chuck Berry would consider writing about such an everyday irritant as losing change in a payphone, and who else would do it so succinctly..."

    This echoes Berry's sentiments; in his autobiography he says the song was meant to describe most of the kinds of hassles a person encounters in everyday life. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander - London, England
  • Berry made up a word in this song, singing, "I don't want your botheration." This wasn't the first time he used his own language: In "Maybellene" he sings about "motorvating."
  • Bob Dylan is one of the many musicians to draw influence from Berry. When Berry won a PEN Award for song lyrics in 2012, Dylan sent him a note saying, "That's what too much monkey business will get ya."

    The vocal delivery on this song is something Dylan emulated on his track "Subterranean Homesick Blues."

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