Monday, March 20, 2017

C'est la Vie


1971, I was living on a hippie commune in Iowa. We supported ourselves with our own rock and roll band called, "Music From the Orphanage." (I was the equipment roadie guy. No musical talent at all.) In the summer of 1971 Chuck Berry came to town, playing a concert at the Col Ballroom in Davenport. At that point I had seen the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Led Zepplin, The Who, Grateful Dead, Joe Cocker, and various lesser bands, yet it was Chuck Berry that we had to go see. Without Chuck Berry, those other bands might not ever have seen the light of day. Sadly, Chuck Berry did not get the respect he deserved in 1971. There were no more than one hundred of us at that concert in Davenport. It was the best rock and roll concert I have ever experienced. We danced, we sang along with Chuck, and best of all, we got to talk to him as he was getting ready to leave in his giant Cadillac. Seriously, that is all he had. A Cadillac, a guitar, and a blonde white woman with him. I have no idea what he thought of the gaggle of dumb white kids who flocked around his Cadillac, but we loved him. One thing though, there was one kid who pissed me off. During the concert (we were right up against the stage), this one kid kept holding a pair of blue suede shoes up in front of Chuck Berry, and shouting out "Blue Suede Shoes, play Blue Suede Shoes." Well for fucks sake, how embarrassing. Blue Suede Shoes is not a Chuck Berry song. That is a Little Richard song. Seriously, what must he of thought of these dumb ass kids in Davenport, Iowa. 

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