Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Saw Ida May in a Coupe De Ville! On Delmar!

(Here's a reprint in honor of Ida May, who is in St. Louis to see Chuck Berry at Blueberry Hill.) 

Maybe you saw pictures or video of her on stage with Mr. Berry in her home town of Porto Alegre, Brazil. 

I once called her Chuck Berry's number one fan because of her incredible exuberence about the man.

I wish I could post Ida May's answers in Portuguese.  Instead, she gamely responded in English, and we worked together, sending drafts back and forth, to try to get it right.  Hope we did!

Is that your real name, Ida May? Or is it Ida Red and Maybellene combined?

Well, my real name is Ida Maria-- the same first name as Ida Red, with Maybellene’s initials…

When did this fascination with Chuck Berry start for you? And how?

Well, I was a girl who loved The Beatles-- and mainly John Lennon. So, I first heard of Chuck Berry on Beatle albums. I fell in love with “Roll over Beethoven,” “Rock and Roll Music”…and with him! His genius can do everything, and I love him for all his talent, for everything he represents to international music, and to his fans all over the world.

What is it about the man and his music that affects you so?

His songs are great, and they’re part of my life. I couldn’t say what song I love more. I love “You Never Can Tell,” “Wee Wee Hours,” “Every Day I Have the Blues.” And the man: He’s the love of my life !!!

I know you’ve danced with him! Have you met him off stage?

Yes, it was very amusing--  and I would like to meet him after the show…

There’s a great shot taken at the airport. Tell us about that one. Did you take it?

Actually it is a wonderful picture, but I was not there. It was published for the local press…

How many times have you gotten to see him perform live? What are some of your favorite memories of those shows?

I’ve been able to see him live in concert three times in Porto Alegre. Each show brought a different emotion.

The first time was in “Pepsi on Stage” in June 2008. It was very cold and I arrived there an hour early. I was very excited. The place was an antique hangar next to the airport transformed in a show house. A red carpet was in the entrance, and a local rock band showed up before the master Chuck Berry.

The curtains opened at 10:00 p.m. sharp. He was there wearing a brilliant red shirt. I felt like I was inside Youtube. He was right there, so near. I got perplexed all the time looking at all the details. I was really enchanted, and hoped I could see him again. I believe we attract everything we love.

The second show was 14 months later. I found out about the second show through my friend Jan Richter. He sent me an e-mail. Between 2008 and 2009, I got in touch with CBII on the internet and I told him that I would be at the show at the Bourbon Country Theatre on August 20th.

It was on this day that my heart almost stopped!! I had an idea! I took a sign that said “I’m Ida May.” CBII recognized me, and before his last song he invited me to come on the stage. I was excited and was brave enough to do this. I went on the stage…the dream was real…

I got face to face with Chuck and he smiled at me. He gave me his arm, and led me on the stage. It was a magic moment. The audience was going wild…Unforgetable !!! That night, I came back to the hotel. I couldn’t believe what had happened. I was by myself. I was there to watch the show… I didn’t sleep…

Seven months later, Jan Richter wrote me saying: “You are lucky, Chuck Berry is going to back to Brazil in May 2010 to do two shows in São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro.” I started to send e-mails to the promoter in Porto Alegre, so that they would include the city in his Brazilian tour. They included it!

I could see him near me and I said: “I love you”…

I thought of asking CBII if I could go to the dressing room to take a photo, but I figured it wouldn’t be allowed. I left the theatre very happy, but with a feeling of emptiness. Would I have another opportunity? I want to see him at Blueberry Hill…

Tell us about the place you live and what you do there.

I’m decorator, and have two sons-- a lawyer and a teacher. I was born in Porto Alegre, but live in Santa Catarina State.

Have you been to the U.S.? St. Louis? Are you going to make it to Blueberry Hill some day?

I have never traveled abroad, but I want to know the USA, mainly St. Louis. I haven’t an opportunity to go there yet. I want to greet all fans who have the privilege to see him every month in Blueberry Hill.

Brazil, Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti and the United States are all linked by rich traditions of music with African roots. Tell us about your favorite Brazilian music. Who are some people we should learn more about or listen to?

Brazil is a happy country, and we have a variety of music in each area. I like the instrumental music, and Brazilian music with African roots, like “Olodum” with Bahia’s rhythm. And I also love the singer “Ivete Sangalo,” who showed up in Madison Square Garden in NY city.

(Editor's Note: Yes, I think could enjoy a trip to see Olodum in Bahia!) (Or as they say in Chicago, Hey Bo Diddley, where you been?) 

(Editor's second note:  Are they singing "Go Johnny Go!" in Portuguese?  Or is this the Brazilian equivalent?


Anonymous said...

Wow, Again a great interview with a big fan and firend :-) Thank You so much Ida and Peter. It was very interesting to read.


Anonymous said...

Thank You Ida May and Tulane for this wonderful interview. Ida May in your interview your love for Chuck and his music come through loud and clear like "Ringing A Bell"!!! Your passion truly makes you Chuck's #1 Fan and I hope for you Chuck gets back to Porto Alegre soon !!

CB Forum ID - Busseybootlegger

Anonymous said...

Peter this excellent! Ida is a wonderful person and a really big fan of my fathers. What a heart felt interview. We all love traveling to Brazil. She described each visit to Porto Alegra perfectly. June is winter time in Brazil and ida's home town is so far south the affects are very apparent. It would be nice to go in December but anytime is a good time to me.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Peter ! I'm living a dream...