Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Better 60th Birthday Concert?

Here's Chuck Berry on October 18, 1986, playing with Dave Edmunds, drummer Terry Williams, Who bassist John Entwhistle and Rolling Stone (end everybody else's) keyboardist Chuck Leavell, (who also appeared in the Hail! Hail! concerts; remember Johnnie Johnson's appreciateive smiles during rehearsals.)  The Hail! Hail! shows were filmed just a day or two earlier in St. Louis and the performances were marred a bit by the necessities of film making and the general exhaustion of cast and crew.  Liberated from his musical director, but defiinitely warmed up and ready to go, it sounds like they got it right in this one.  WISH I'd been there. 

What I'll say about the St. Louis concerts is this: someone opened up the closet door and pulled out songs that don't get played a lot.  But it probably would have worked better if there'd been less fuss and muss and rehearsal.  Richards was used to spending a few weeks in a warehouse getting ready to tour.  Berry had spent a lifetime simply touring.  But one way or another, it became a fascinating movie-- one of the best rock and roll movies, up there with "Don't Look Back."  Why?  Because it told us something about the man himself.  The scenes at the Cosmopolitan and the Fox; or during lulls in rehearsal when he began strumming ballads-- those are what made the show.  And I liked Jerry Lee Lewis, too!

Thanks Doug-- when you get done sopping up all the Chuck Berry on youtube, there's a big job for you in the Gulf of Mexico.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I forgot about this show...thanks for posting. It sounds like it was a really good one!