Saturday, October 8, 2011

Looked at my Watch, it was Kinda Scary

The place he sang his "Ding-a-Ling" is now the library!

Here's the story from Fred Rothwell, author of Long Distance Information: Chuck Berry's Recorded Legacy.  (A book you ought to get if you're a Chuck Berry fan.)

I wanted to find the exact address of the Locarno Ballroom in Coventry and took advantage of a business trip to visit the city to check out the local archived papers in the central public library.  After about two hours I'd read every contemporay report of the concert (which wasn't a lot because the Ding A Ling phenomena was still in the future) but still didn't know the address of the venue. In frustration I asked the female librarian, who was of similar age to me and therefore might know, where was the Locarno Ballroom. 'You're standing in it' she said. I gazed around me in wonderment and saw the whole thing, the dance floor and the balcony, all that was missing was the mirror ball hanging from the ceiling. The ballroom had been converted into the library later and I'd sat for two hours searching for the location I was actually sitting in!
I always envision places and people I've never seen.  I always imagined the Coventry show happening in some giant barn of a place with thousands and thousands of people, but it was probably hundreds and hundreds in a big dance hall.  Here are some pictures and a Link.


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