So my Christmas present got better. Now, instead of a 36 hour trip to St. Louis and back to see Chuck Berry at Blueberry Hill it's become 100 hours, two shows, at least two states and maybe three, or four, or five. The highlight, for me, will be a chance to see Mr. Berry at the Argosy Casino in Alton, Illinois in the company of Rebecca, the sweetie who planned the trip. She's never seen him. (She's never even watched "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll" with me! It seems to be a point of pride with her.) But she has always supported my habit. She sent me to Blueberry Hill the first time, and let me go again in 2010. And she has gone with me to see B. B. King, Macy Gray, Dr. John, Cassandra Wilson, Taj Mahal, Sonny Rollins, and more. So it's fitting and proper that, at least once, she go with me to see my surrogate dad, the Father of Rock and Roll.
But here's the deal-- there are two shows! One on Wednesday, one on Saturday. Rebecca can't attend both. Something at work prevents it. But I can! The luxury of it overwhelms me. And in between, I might have time to squeeze in a mad dash to Memphis, a town I've never seen. I won't see much if I do-- I'll have to be back in 30 hours to pick up Rebecca at the airport. We'll eat out. We'll honeymoon at the Moonrise. The next day we'll tour city. And then we'll cross the Mississippi and see another Chuck Berry show.
Life is short. The first of these two shows will start 41 years and 48 hours after my very first live Chuck Berry show on February 13, 1971. Seems like a long time ago, and like yesterday.