I stopped in Target just long enough to browse through the Chuck Berry pages in Keith Richards' new autobiography-- or at any rate, those pages around page 456 or so. I skimmed, so don't hold me to it. Maybe this part of the book was ghostwritten from interviews for "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll," but if not, no signs of growth in understanding on Richards' part. He's still talking about "piano keys." He's still acting like Chuck Berry never played with a good band before October 1986. And he thinks that he somehow reintroduced Chuck Berry to Johnnie Johnson. It's one thing to say it in a drunken interview. It's another to say it in a book. As best I can tell, Chuck Berry and Johnnie Johnson worked together as long as Johnnie Johnson was alive. Johnson added piano tracks to the "San Francisco Dues" album in 1971. He played piano on the album "Rockit" in 1979. And according to Morton Reff they played together in Europe at least once in 1984. It's cool that Richards wanted Johnnie Johnson on "Hail! Hail!" but it wasn't the first reunion of two long lost friends-- it was just another in a long string of get togethers.
What's sort of funny to me, though, is Keith's astonishment that the original rock and roller might not not follow Keith's rules. He complains about the arrangements being "chucked" out the window as soon as the show started. You'd think that a guy who abuses every sort of drug and alcohol, steals guitars from fans seeking autographs, falls from trees and smokes his own dad (just kidding) would understand that in rock and roll and life, rules are made to be broken.