Monday, 19 October 2009

Flip's Clips No.6 - Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry - Promised Land

Let`s leave the country archive for awhile. Next month ole uncle Chuckles is coming to south Wales for 2 gigs but I reckon ole Phillybuster here and the young `un` "little Jimmie" Mather won't be attending (nearly a £100 for the two shows) I`ve seen Chuck around a dozen times and he`s been brilliant four times ( 72 - 84), ok thrice and dire the other 5 times, usual suspects ie crap tuning, poor pick up band, thudding bass, short set with Dingblydiling taking up a quarter of it and I`ve already got tickets to another gig on the same night as the local show.

I felt the same last time Little Richard came here, stick to me records n videos ta very much, its rock n roll but not as we know and lurveeeeeeee it, I`d rather recall the decent show Mr CB did in the Docklands arena in London a few years back with ole JLL stonking thru a short opening set and Little Richard and his oh so boring "clap yer hands have ya read my religious tract, are there any posers sorry dancers who wanna come up, all the men say OOOH, here's a Fats/Bob Seeger/Larry Willaims toon in fatc anything not by me " set, a good humoured Chuck with a decent piano man saved the day.

Glad to here Chuck is finally going to play the Viva Las Vegas rab fest and that he'll be backed by a stellar band of 50s experts, always wanted him to tour here backed by dave Edmunds Rockpile and then to record and album guided by Dave, who like George Thorogood does Chuck`s songs properly.

I love Chuck`s music to pieces, recently bought the 2nd Hip O Select 4cd box You Never Can Tell the early 60s years which is fabulous esp the new live album on it, I have Fred Rothwell`s great Long Distance Info book on his music and even bought the 4dvd US version of Hail R N R, Taylor " mr Helen Mirren" Hackford the director and Keith Richards the musical direction deserve the Nobel peace prize for getting through it in one piece.

Between 1955 and 65- ish he cut the greatest self penned rocking r&b/rnr records of all time. One of my all time favs is the travelogue Promised Land apparently written during his 2nd incarceration (he had to get special permission to get a map in case he was planning a break out!!), now both Elvis and the great cajun rocker Johnnie Allen have done sterling versions but I love Chuck`s original, got it on UK Pye and US Chess.

This great clip is almost like a sequel to the great Jazz On A Summer's day movie in that Chuck appears on this b&w French tv show in the mid 60s backed by jazzer the George Shearing quintet ( I think!!), dig the beatnik on the double bass,looks like Mike Stoller in Jailhouse Rock, chuck looks and sounds great slim, greasy haired, that marvellous sly smile and cheeky eye movements and moving n groovin for all he's worth, even the mike collapse is covered by a cool duckwalk, check the side bar for the other gems from this show. there's a very abrupt ending - hinted at by Chuck`s usual foot stomp to finish it being almost cut off, remember him this way, the Stones,Beach Boys etc etc should all bow down and say a prayer for this marvellous singer songwriter giving us a golden decade indeed.

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