Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chuck Berry Tribute Shows: The Good, Bad, the Ugly (and a great one!)

I noticed that a guy named Charlie Ray Richards is going to be doing a Chuck Berry Tribute Show way up north of Toronto, Canada on Mr. Berry's birthday-- October 18.  In the publicity shot he's sure got the lean, high cheek bone look of a young Chuck Berry, and he's got the split down.  According to Richard's own website his work is "pure pleasure.  I've never met anyone in my life that wasn't a Chuck Berry fan even if they didn't know it until I sing his numerous hits. The only thing I fear is breaking a string cuz you can't play Chuck's tunes with five of 'em. Believe me, I've tried!"

It turns out I've seen Mr. Richards on youtube, although he wasn't identified as such.  Not exactly the same look as in the still shot!  His group is called Monkey Business.  The videoclip below shows a certain level of skill, some familiar licks, and lots of  good intention-- but it also goes a long way to show how really hard it is to be Chuck Berry on stage!

Meanwhile, I was stiiiiiilllllll on youtube.  And I found more tributes.

FIRST OF ALL, THE WORST OF ALL.   I shouldn't put this on the site, or give it publicity, but SOMEONE needs to tell THIS TURKEY that blackface entertainment was bad 100 years ago, worse 80 years ago, and intollerable now.  The same guy does Buddy Holly, and I'm sure it's all done with good intentions-- (or maybe just the intention to make some cash at a casino) but dang!  Rub off the makeup! And delete the phoney audience sounds!  If anyone is really screaming about this performance it's ME, screaming in pain and anger.

My advice: Peek, shudder, curse, and then press STOP.

Whereas this guy can play-- I think.  (In another clip he's just dancing and singing.)  Who knows-- but the fingers do seem to be doing what they seem to be doing.  If it's really him playing, he's got the end of the first lick that I spent yeeeears search for.

But I saved the best for last....

For more about Charlie Ray Richards and the Chuck Berry Birthday Tribute:

No comments: