Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chuck Berry at Bumpershoot, September 1980

Today a brown package arrived from distant lands with local sounds from distant times-- an 80 minute Chuck Berry show at the Seattle Bumpershoot arts and music festival from September 1980.  I missed it.  I wasn't in Seattle in September 1980-- I was somewhere between Sokode and Kougnohou, Togo when this show took place-- but I'd heard about it in the local press from time to time.  It was rumoured to be a good one.  And guess what?  It was.

And so is this recording-- so clear it sounds like it came straight through the soundboard.

Which makes me think someone was naughty!

The recording is almost all vocal, guitars and bass, with just enough drums a few (mercifully) short keyboard solos.  I read somewhere that Chuck kicked Heart's bass player off stage at this show.  If true, I'm betting that it was because Jimmy Marsala travelled with Chuck to do this show.

There are 16 1/2  songs ("Reelin' and Rockin'" becomes "House Lights" at times) including most of the big ones, plus "Bio" and a good version of "Promised Land."

Once upon a time I was able to find pictures from that show on line, but this time I came up blank.  I'll keep looking.  And listening.


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