Definitions

duck-walk

Duck Walk

[duhk-wawk]
The Duck Walk is a guitar move made famous by American guitarist Chuck Berry, and adopted by others such as Angus Young from the band AC/DC and the Swedish rock musician Ulf Dageby of Nationalteatern. The Duck Walk consists of jumping on one leg and moving the other in a back-and-forth motion, which looks vaguely like the awkward waddle of a duck. Berry also occasionally added the move of bobbing his head back and forth, as a bird does, to emphasize it further. It was first conceived by Berry to hide the wrinkles in a rayon suit at a 1956 performance at New York, according to a Rolling Stone interview. "It got an ovation," he recalls, "so I did it again and again.

Another version, the one cited in his autobiography, reads:

"A brighter seat of my memories is based on pursuing my rubber ball. Once it happened to bounce under the kitchen table, and I was trying to retrieve it while it was still bouncing. Usually I was reprimanded for disturbing activities when there was company in the house, as there was then. But this time my manner of retrieving the ball created a big laugh from Mother's choir members. Stooping with full-bended knees, but with my back and head vertical, I fit under the tabletop while scooting forward reaching for the ball. This squatting manner was requested by members of the family many times thereafter for the entertainment of visitors and soon, from their appreciation and encouragement, I looked forward to the ritual. An act was in the making. After it had been abandoned for years I happened to remember the maneuver while performing in New York for the first time and some journalist branded it the duck walk.

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