Hail! Hail! Rock’n'Roll!
There are several things that I have an obsession with, and they’ll all be dealt with accordingly over the next few weeks. But the first one is music.
Last night, I fulfilled a dream that I’ve had for several years- I finally got to see Chuck Berry, a guitar hero that I’ve moaned about to most people, and the fact that he never seems to play the UK. And, by a complete coincidence, he was playing here during our stay- at BB King’s Blues Club, no less. I had to go.
First of all, stepping into the venue was a major disappointment. The decor was lovely, but rather than finding myself in a gig venue, I was in a restaurant (with a minumum spend of $10). After being seated with my back to the stage, I then ordered the cheapest thing I could find on the menu- a $18 plate of nachos. Hmmf.
Then, Chuck Berry came on.
Chuck isn’t young. He’s 81, but still has enough energy to blow away most artists a quarter of his age. Opening with Roll Over Beethoven, he blistered through a hit-laden set, taking in a few blues covers along the way. You Never Can Tell, Johnny B. Goode, even My Ding-a-Ling. They were all there.
That’s not to say his age isn’t starting to show- he confessed after a shortened version of Maybelline that he can no longer keep up with it for all of it’s two verses. But his voice is still there, and he can sure as hell still play guitar.
John Lennon once said that if you were to call Rock’n'Roll by any other name, it would be Chuck Berry. Seeing him live, even in his old age (and despite the venue), will become one of my most treasured memories.