Dear Peter:I knew who played-- a local group called Slo Loris, and a kid named Little Dion, who's show was sort of like The Jackson One. You can read all about that show HERE, in Chapter Three of a book I wrote about Chuck Berry and my own personal madness.
I did find that Chuck Berry played Memorial Auditorium on February 13, 1971. Also on November 24th 1971 there was a “50s Rock & Roll Revival” but the listing doesn’t mention who played. I can also tell you that 800 people attended the Berry concert and over 4,000 attended the rock & roll revival.
Well, yesterday I was in Sacramento for business, so at the end of my stay I went to the downtown branch of the Sacramento library and asked for microfilm of the Sacramento Bee and the Sacramento Union for those months. Because what you have to understand about this blog is that, while it might say a lot about Chuck Berry, it's real focus is ME.
I'm not sure other people have the same problem as me-- the feeling that all memory is suspect. Every moment I've ever known in life is "like a fading memory." So I take comfort in corraboration. I like to see that what I remember is true. So you can imagine my delight when I stumbled across the following page of microfilm.
Although I mistrust memory, I trust mine enough to wonder if The Bantams actually performed. We walked out during Little Dion's performance, so if they did it was after that. (I would have remembered these guys If I'd have seen them. They might actually have been younger than Dion!)
As for Little Dion, he's evidently now a pretty big Dion, and providing good times out there somewhere. The man can still dance.
The rest of it all reeks of the Sacramento of my teen years. Adult movies. Vienna Choir Boys. Perry Boys' Smorgy. (Check the price there! All you want for $1.75! They even gave you a little bible with your fried chicken and spaghetti. We ate there several times.)
This ad is from a paper called The Sacramento Bee. They didn't review much rock and roll in those days, but The Bee actually had an article about Chuck's appearance, on a page with stock market listings, news of an Illinois earthquake, vital statistics, and funeral announcements. You can read it here.