Chuck Berry 1967
unknown english paper
One of the father figures
of the fifties rock era flew back into London last weak for his fifth
british tour. Chuck Berry, a brown-eyed negro built like a light-heavyweight
title contender, sat on his bed at the Hilton Hotel and said: "When
I stop walking - that's when I stop performing".
old I am? Just say, more than twice sixteen".
Berry has been a major
Rock and Roll influence both in the states and in England for 10 years
now. His driving, exciting, music was one of the early influences
of the Beatles, and he's still pounding out his own particular brand
of "moody, meaningful music".
He freely admits that
with investments in a real estate business and an amusement park in
St. Louis, he needn't be a rock and roll star. But he's formed a union
with his fans that he has no intention of breaking.
"Just why my fans have
stuck with me so long I have no idéa", he said. "I'm only glad they
have. This tour, I'm doing a new circuit of dance places, rather than
theatres, and my approach to the act different these days, too".
Berry has a worked
out formula for his appearances, including his four best known songs
and five or six other numbers.
"It's less of a spontaneous
show, more programmed. I'll be doing numbers like "Roll Over Beethoven",
"Memphis" and "Reeling And Rocking", as well as "Maybellene".
"These days, I work
an average of three days a week, mainly at wekends and spend the rest
of the time recording and looking after my businesses. The dates are
concerts, collage dates, auditoriums and clubs - pretty much the same
sort of the audience as here. I play to the young people after all.
35 percent of the populations are youngsters".
It has been two years
since Chuck toured here. What were the difference he has noticed in
the american music these days?
"It has changed. These
days, there's less of the repetition of the bluews or boogie and more
intermingling of styles. Fore exemple, where you used to have a verse
and a chorus, a verse and a chorus. Now You may have three verse,
then a chorus, than two verses.
Over the year, Berry
has recorded 117 tracks, of with 104 have been written by himself.
Some of the best of these tracks are being released in april on an
album titeled "Golden Hits". But Chuck, explained, they have all be
"We did them last November
in St. Louis with new arrangements. But I used the same musicans as
on the original tracks. There are bands in St. Louis who are really
good and I still work with the same musicans that I started with".
Chuck is happy with
his own, very lucrative groove. He plans to go on for as long as he
can drum up an audience.
"I'd like one day to
be like Jack Benny: what ever happens, I'll stay 39".