Waddayamean You’ve Never Heard Of Him!?

Jim Stainton was aghast! He had just invited me along to a rock concert in Oklahoma City and I had immediately accepted. My motto in Apache was I only say YES to all invitations to travel. Only got a year, gotta go everywhere! His follow-up questions had forced me to admit my ignorance.

Don’t say that! Don’t say you don’t know who Chuck Berry is!

Hey! I was a seventeen-year-old Vrystater. I was lucky enough to know a lot about modern music, but turns out there was this gap in the fifties when I was one month and twenty days old and Maybellene hit the charts!

But I was willing to learn, I had a ball at that concert with Jim, 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 just right, but anyway . . . knowaddimean . . )

He played all his hits with huge energy, holding the big stadium in the palm of his hand. He played ‘Johnny B. Goode’, ‘Maybelline’, ‘Nadine’, ‘No Particular Place to Go’, ‘Reelin’ and Rockin’’  ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘Surfin’ U.S.A’, ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’ etc. etc And ‘My ding-a-ling’.

That was 1973. I recently found a 2014 pic of Jim on the internets. That’s him in the red T:


Some Chuck Berry:
– “People don’t want to see seventeen pieces 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 don’ rhyme most of the time and that’s why I don’ 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.”

In 1963, Bo Diddley starred in a UK concert tour with the Everly Brothers and Little Richard. The supporting act was a little up-and-coming outfit called The Rolling Stones.


footnote: I asked a friend last year  to bring some Chuck Berry to a gathering on my patio. I decided to catch up before so I looked him up on wikipedia – to learn he had died a few days before at the ripe ole age of 90. R.I.P Chuck Berry.

One thought on “Waddayamean You’ve Never Heard Of Him!?

  1. Pingback: Give Rock and Roll Another Name – Bewilderbeast Droppings

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