Chuck Berry’s songs, music and particularly lyrics defined and painted a picture of the USA that few of us knew at that time This was coupled with a driving beat with that superlative guitar intro to many of his songs. On top of this he was an original. When a Chuck Berry record came on the radio it needed no introduction. He was no doubt the founder of the Rock n Roll era and his influence continues. His songs that kicked off the Rock revolution were taken up a number of years later by the Beatles and The Rolling Stones and they formed the basis of their respective stage acts in their early days. He remains the most influential figure in music in my lifetime.
On 19th February 1967, I saw Chuck Berry top the bill – well of course he always did top the bill – at The Saville Theatre in London and supporting him that night and on the tour was Del Shannon. I saw the matinee – but in the evening performance the place went wild and some seats were wrecked. Apparently the fans wanted to see Chuck Berry and the lead up acts in between Del Shannon and him were not what they wanted. The Beatles were in the audience that night too.
Del Shannon was very good – but Chuck Berry was on a different scale – probably the best artist I have ever seen ‘Live’ and in concert. He was just sensational.
Another News Report below :
Del Shannon was also booked to appear at Brian Epstein’s Saville Theatre in London on a bill with Chuck Berry. John and Ringo attended the show on 19th February 1967. In 1987 Shannon made some recordings with George Harrison. Mysteriously, Shannon was found dead at his home in Santa Clarita, California, on 8th February 1990. He died of gunshot wounds, said to have been self-inflicted