October 22, 2015 – 4:50 am

CHUCK BERRY R.I.P. 1926 - 2017

Chuck Berry, who with his indelible guitar licks, brash self-confidence and memorable songs about cars, girls and wild dance parties did as much as anyone to define rock ’n’ roll’s potential and attitude in its early years, died on March 18, 2017. He was 90. The St Charles County Police Department in Missouri confirmed his death on its Facebook page. The department said it responded to a medical emergency at a home and Berry was declared dead after lifesaving measures were unsuccessful.

While Elvis Presley was rock’s first pop star and teenage heartthrob, Berry was its master theorist and conceptual genius, the songwriter who understood what the kids wanted before they knew themselves. With songs like “Johnny B Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” he gave his listeners more than they knew they were getting from jukebox entertainment. His guitar lines wired the lean twang of country and the bite of the blues into phrases with both a streamlined trajectory and a long memory. And tucked into the lighthearted, telegraphic narratives that he sang with such clear enunciation was a sly defiance, upending convention to claim the pleasures of the moment.

In “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “You Can’t Catch Me” and other songs, Berry invented rock as a music of teenage wishes fulfilled and good times (even with cops in pursuit). In “Promised Land,” “Too Much Monkey Business” and “Brown Eyed Handsome Man,” he celebrated and satirized America’s opportunities and class tensions. His rock ’n’ roll was a music of joyful lusts, laughed-off tensions and gleefully shattered icons. - Jon Pareles, The New York Times

Click here for the full write-up.

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Click on the panels for a better view or to download jpg artwork.

Click here for the pdf artwork.

Washington 2012 [no label, 1CD]

Live at The Howard Theatre; Washington DC; April 28, 2012. Very good audience recording.

Happy Birthday greetings to Chuck Berry, who turned 89 on October 18.

Thanks to travelinbeat for sharing the show at Dime.

travelinbeat noted:

This was my first time visiting the newly renovated and reopened Howard Theatre, and my second time seeing Chuck Berry (the first being back in August 2008 at the Virgin Mobile Festival in Maryland). Chuck is definitely showing his age on this recording, but at 85 years old, he is still an amazing performer (he did his classic kicking duck walk twice!). The classic old Chuck Berry reared his antagonistic head a couple of times throughout the performance, perhaps most noticably when in the closing jam, Chuck chose to pull away and break into a new tempo unexpectedly - forcing the band to keep up and change gears. I noted the change by splitting the closing jam into two seperate tracks. His band is incredible in this recording, and the show was a great one - hope you enjoy it!

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Source: CA-14’s (Cards) > Church Audio ST-9100 > Edirol R09-HR @ 24/96
Editing: Tracking and fades were done while the show was laid in Sony Soundforge 10.0a (Build 425) as a wav file. Periodic loud points (nearby claps) were enveloped to allow for more headroom in Normalization (each channel independently to -0.10dB).
For this share: flac > mp3 (16/44)

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later.

Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files. Also email us if you have any rarities you’d like to share with our readers.

Track 01. Roll Over Beethoven 3:10 (5.3MB)
Track 02. School Day 3:32 (5.9MB)
Track 03. Jambalaya 2:34 (4.3MB)
Track 04. Johnny B Goode 3:47 (6.4MB)
Track 05. La Juanda 1:48 (3.0MB)
Track 06. Nadine 4:37 (7.8MB)
Track 07. You Never Can Tell 5:08 (8.6MB)
Track 08. Wee Wee Hours 4:33 (7.7MB)
Track 09. Carol 5:39 (9.5MB)
Track 10. Rock Me Baby 3:23 (5.7MB)
Track 11. Let It Rock 10:10 (17.1MB)
Track 12. Reelin and Rockin 5:28 (9.2MB)
Track 13. Sweet Little Sixteen 1:55 (3.2MB)
Track 14. Closing Jam 1 4:19 (7.3MB)
Track 15. Closing Jam 2 6:07 (10.3MB)
67 mins

Click here to order Chuck Berry releases.

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  1. 14 Responses to “CHUCK BERRY - WASHINGTON 2012”

  2. i’ll never forget my first chuck berry concert back in the ‘80s. it was about two months before he was to report to prison for tax evasion. I was really looking forward to the show with the great chuck berry! it was at a big roadhouse in the jersey pinelands, the place was crowded and it took me so long to get to the bar that i ordered two beers.

    the opening act was a decent bar band, i still remember that one of their original songs was wittily titled “i like young girls in tight blue jeans”. the guitarists’ favorite move was to stand at the front of the stage and look out into the crowd while he soloed. many in the crowd responded by giving him the finger. unfortunately, i could not join in, having a beer in each hand. their set ended to indifference.

    some local yokel played a brief solo set, and then it was time for the man! the crowd cheered as chuck came out on stage… with the opening act as his band! i didn’t know it at the time, but chuck berry doesnt have a touring band- he shows up and the promotor provides a local band to back him.

    it was one great hit after another! the only problem was that the band had probably never played, or heard, a chuck berry song before that show! chuck would come to the end of a song everyone knew, bring his guitar neck down to signal the finish… and the band kept right on playing! he was standing on stage laughing at them, they were so clueless! it was freaking hilarious!

    about halfway through the first set, chuck decided that he needed a better drummer, so he asked if anyone in the crowd could play his songs. one guy came up, but only lasted one song, he was pounding away like bonham on “rock ’n roll”. the second set was more of the same- chuck was great, the band wasnt, but it was a great experience nonetheless.

    By barth on Oct 22, 2015

  3. Now THAT’s how to write up a fitting and proper comment, barth! One of the best ever submitted. I’m stunned that as recently as 2012 Chuck Berry was still at it. I love stuff like this. Kind of like Vin Scully still calling Dodger games; he’s been at it going all the way back to when they were the Brooklyn Dodgers before I was born.

    By Mr. Jimmy on Oct 23, 2015

  4. this is painfully bad. Chuck doesn`t seem to give two shits whether or not he`s in tune and his playing , especially his bends are terrible. Whatever happened Chuck? when did you give it up and just decide to mail it in? There was a time when your guitar riffs and bouncy infectious lyrics were pure gold, so what now, show up ,grab the money and run? I used to love chuck Berry and his music right up until I saw the docu-Hail Hail rock and roll where none other than Keith Richards[who grew up idolizing the man] tried his very best to put together an all-star backing band and Chuck was so ungracious it was pitiful . Turned me right off Chuck Berry then and there.

    By sluggo on Oct 23, 2015

  5. I get tired of hearing people back up pop stars from the late 50’s and early 60’s who couldn’t be bothered to hire a band . They leave it to the owners or promoters to trap the local bands to play for no extra money to back these acts up. At least chuck berry is well known. Chuck was doing this same thing back in the early seventies. Even then he would be chasing drummers off the stage during his show because he didn’t like how they were interpreting his music. Speaking as someone who has backed these acts, ” if you want me to play your song a certain way , then show up for a rehersal and either show me yourself or hand me sheet music for the song. It’s asking enough of me to play for free ,let alone give you a perfect studio version.

    By Fred on Oct 23, 2015

  6. sluggo- that movie was a big shock to me too. i was appalled at the way berry treated keith and the rest. i knew he was bitter because of his jail time and the usual music biz rip offs, but there was no reason for him to behave so disgracefully towards the musicians and filmmakers who wanted to honor him. some of the dvd sets have an extra “the making of” disc that details berry’s horrendous behavior throughout the filming. youre right, this performance is a bad one. chuck probably charged top dollar for it too, in cash.

    Fred- like i said, i could not believe that the band was so unfamiliar with the songs. they had a better band when berry returned about a year later after serving his jail time. as i learned from bruce springsteen in the movie, berry doesnt bother to rehearse with the band.

    By barth on Oct 23, 2015

  7. I remember Chuck Berry was on the news shortly after Hurricane Katrina. There was a group of the old rock n rollers getting together to tour in order to help Fats Domino, who lost almost everything when the storm flooded his home. I never heard anything after that announcement. Chuck Berry was looking quite thin and was sitting in a wheelchair. Hmm.

    He was one of the few rockers that I had met in person, just him and me in the early 70’s. He seemed like a regular guy, just off the plane, he said, on the way to the studio. I asked him what about the band (I just assumed he had one) but he told me that they just put together a backing band where ever he goes to play. I sold him a 21 piece bucket of chicken and he was on his way, going south on a very empty Reseda Blvd at 11PM. It was a very surreal moment. He has a very good chance to outlive me. I wasn’t even old enough yet to register for the draft.

    By ScarRad on Oct 23, 2015

  8. the man is an enigma.

    By sluggo on Oct 23, 2015

  9. None of the links are working

    By JamWel on Nov 3, 2015

  10. None of the links for Jackson Browne and Chuck Berry are down….cannot download any tracks.

    By JamWel on Nov 5, 2015

  11. This guy was a real asshole and everyone knew it. He must have had a real disdain for his audience if he was ready to take the money without bothering to give a shit about who backed him on stage and how. Pathetic

    By Beat Oven on Mar 20, 2017

  12. None of the links for Jackson Browne and Chuck Berry are down….cannot download any tracks.

    By JamWel on Nov 5, 2015

    If they’re not down why can’t you download them ? Cause you’re a MORON !!!

    By Jamie Moron on Mar 20, 2017

  13. The original rock and roll attitude. The guitar that launched a thousand bands. Keith Richards is a bug at his feet. Hail, Hail Rock and Roll !!

    By fred astaire jr on Mar 20, 2017

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