So tonight I watched the Roxy show again, and I liked it. Thank you Ida May and Dominic. I especially liked the songs that come right after "Nadine," when he "begins" the show with "Let it Rock" and "Promised Land." I like the interaction with the piano player, who seems genuinely delighted, and although I don't like his style so much, I like to see the delight of the guitar player, too, when Chuck Berry is swinging his arm in front of him. It's fun.
I'd bet $5 I saw pretty much the same band at that casino show at Tahoe. (I right about it HERE.) Certainly I saw the same suit. Jim Marsala had to be there. There were horns. Pretty much the same crowd, just not quite as 1980s Los Angeles hip. It was a Tahoe casino crowd that might also have gone to see Liza Minnelli or Dean Martin, but it was Chuck's night.
It was good that he was there. 11 or 12 years earlier he would have been in the free lounge, where I saw B. B. King and Bobby Blue Bland, and Jerry Van Dyke. (The free lounge was a strange place. But it was free! Two drinks got you in a tiny club with some extraordinary musicians. And since I worked there, even the drinks were free!)
Chuck was in the main showroom-- the dinner club. And I guess, for me, that was the problem. I was used to old barns filled with teenagers and seeing Chuck winging it with a band that would never forget that hour.
Funny how we insist so often on having things just the way we want them.