Chuck Berry is my hero.
Always has been, always will be.
There’s only ever gonna be one of that guy.
When it comes to Rock & Roll, it’s hard to pin down exactly who did what first but it basically comes down to Chuck, Elvis, Little Richard & Jerry Lee Lewis and for my money, I think Little Richard invented Rock & Roll but right behind him and ready to take over was Chuck Berry.
I never got the chance to see Little Richard pound that piano live but I once went to a Chuck Berry gig!
…The only problem was that Chuck Berry wasn’t there.
It was a few years ago now in Glasgow but basically Anna and I sat through the crappy support band for a LONG time until we realised that Chuck probably wasn’t gonna show up.
I remember feeling disappointed because it’s not often that Chuck Berry rolls into my town to play but I’d read a couple of books about him and I half expected him to be a no-show or at the least, very late.
I kept saying to Anna: “He ain’t coming. He’s probably arguing about money backstage! I’m never gonna see Chuck Berry.”
And you know what folks? I never did get to see Chuck Berry.
We knew that we’d have no problem getting our tickets refunded so we left the 2000 strong audience to argue and complain at the box office and went for a drink.
I think it took us about a week or so before we actually found out what had happned to Chuck because it made the papers.
Apparently, Chuck had wanted to drive himself to the venue for the concert and although his hotel was less than a 10 minute walk away, Chuck is said to have insisted on driving.
His people had to explain to him that you can’t drink & drive in Glasgow and that you also must have a license to drive a car here.
Ol’ Chuck didn’t have any of these things going for him so that was that.
The story goes that he showed up later on at the empty venue demanding to be paid. – Whadda guy!
It’s easy to get pissed off at an uncompromising old feller like Chuck Berry but read any book about him and you will see how badly promoters and managers in the 50’s burned him for cash.
Also, he wrote “Johnny B. Goode”.
What the hell have you ever done?
Chuck Berry comes across as really difficult at times and as you can see HERE, nobody knows this better than Keith Richards.