Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sheer, Delirious Speculation

My wife and I went out tonight, and spent the last hour or so at a neighborhood restaurant that features live music on the weekends. And at some point the band leader took out a tiny recorder and said “We’re going to record it. It’s the only way we’ll get better. Not that I’m going to listen to this. But someday when the biographies are written…”

It was a pretty funny.

Then Rebecca said “Imagine if Chuck Berry had recorded his first shows!”

And it hit me.

Who’s the man who recorded “Memphis” at his office?

What did he take to Chicago?

Who wore the same $8 trousers at least 25 years?

Who’s the guy with the list of all the shows he’s ever played?


And he’s still got the tapes!  (That's the speculation.  Sheer and unadulterated.)

I’m betting he’s still got Ida Red—the one he played for Leonard Chess in 1955!

I'm betting there are shows recorded before "Maybellene," with blues and country and Louis Jordanesque material.)


Like an early draft of the Mona Lisa.

Oh, please let it be true!

And if it is-- oh please, let us hear it.


Anonymous said...

Oh only if we were allowed to record every show on motion picture film, DV media or Super 8. We can only follow the rule not make them.


Peter said...

I hope you can convince the rule maker to let a professional record some of these latter day shows and turn the best of it into a movie. It is such a story all by itself-- taking it all back to the local club level. We all thank him for doing it, anyway.

But my speculation about early tape recordings makes me dizzy. If those exist anywhere, they need to come out someday. The idea of hearing The Johnny Johnson Trio, featuring Chuck Berry on guitar, is almost too wonderful to imagine. It doesn't matter how scratchy or bad the sound is-- it would be world heritage landmark and wonderful to hear. Here's hopin'! Peter