Sunday, August 15, 2010

More About Chuck Berry at Lake Tahoe, 1971

Here's a link with some fascinating back and forth between me and the promotor, a talented musician named Jim Burgett.  What's interesting is that while Mr. Burgett admits to having breached the contract (Berry had asked for a particular amp; Burgett thought it was a mistake and gave him a different one), and then says he used security to enforce his part of the same contract-- which Berry himself never breached!

Chuck's "manager" says in "Hail! Hail!" that that's where the "trouble" always starts-- when a promoter thinks he knows better about what Chuck really wants. 

To me it says a lot about what Chuck Berry and others had to put up with, even from well meaning promoters like Mr. Burgett (who points out that he remains a fan today).  (Didn't Berry describe a show enforced by shotgun in his book?) 

In his "peculiar rider" Berry wasn't asking for Dom Perignon and chocolate covered strawberries in the dressing room-- he was asking for the tools he needed to be the Chuck Berry everyone wants to hear and see: a dual showman amplifier.  (In a related article, below, Mr. Burgett says that the amp that was good enough for a then youthful Jerry Garcia and therefore good enough for the man whose songs Jerry Garcia always played!) 

Anyway, a fun time was had by all at the Fun House, or Sancutary, or whatever it was called.  Two sets!  A little eternity of great music.

In other words, Mr. Berry peformed according to the contract-- on an amp that breached it.

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