Jim Stanton was aghast! He had just invited me along to a rock concert in Oklahoma City and I had immediately accepted. Now he was exclaiming: Don’t say that! Don’t say you don’t know who Chuck Berry is!
My motto in Apache was: I only say yes to all invitations to travel. Only YES! Yes please! I only have one short year; Gotta go everywhere! Gotta dodge school!
His follow-up questions had forced me to admit my ignorance. But I was willing to learn, I had a ball – and I have been a Chuck Berry fan ever since!
What I didn’t tell Jim is I had even less heard of Bo Diddley! He featured with Chuck and they rocked up a storm. “My ding-a-ling” was really big just then! OK, that didn’t sound quite right, but anyway . . knowwaddimean . .
He played all his hits, including “Johnny B. Goode,” “Maybelline,” “Nadine,” “No Particular Place to Go,” “Reelin’ and Rockin’,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Surfin’ U.S.A,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” . . .
That was 1973. Recently I saw a 2014 pic of Jim on the internets. That’s him in the red T, wranglin’ rattlesnakes. Hi Jim! Never forgotten! Thought of you again when Chuck died aged 90 this year – 2017.
Some Chuck Berry:
“People don’t want to see seventeen piece bands in neckties. They wanna see some jeans, some gettin’ down and some wigglin’.”
“I love poetry. I love rhyming. Do you know, there are poets who don’t rhyme? Shakespeare did not rhyme most of the time and that’s why I don’t like him.”
“It amazes me when I hear people say ‘I want to go out and find out who I am’. I always knew who I was. I was going to be famous if it killed me.”
“I would sing the blues if I had the blues.”
Ten years earlier, in 1963, Bo Diddley had starred in a UK concert tour with the Everly Brothers and Little Richard. Their supporting act was a little up-and-coming outfit called The Rolling Stones.