This post is well overdue. My road has been a little bumpy as of late but things are smoothing out and I finally had a minute to scribble.
The show was great, just great. I got the number 1 ticket again, so I was lucky to be sitting with my elbow on the stage at BB King's. If you haven't seen a show there, you need to go.
Here are some highlights...
Got to meet Javilu from the site- a very cool guy from Argentina. Javier, I will be hitting you up for a free room on my upcoming (well sometime) trip to South America! I love going to see Chuck because I know that there will be lots of other people who are genuinely excited to be there. And there were. Everyone was very happy.
When they started bringing stuff onto the stage, i recognized CBII and introduced myself. What a nice guy.
During the "you say it and we'll try to play it" part of the show, (which is pretty much the whole show), I shouted out for Wee Wee Hours. Chuck heard someone else's request, I think it was Javier's, for Promised Land. After that, Chuck started again to ask for a request but Jim Marsala said something to him, and he goes, "Oh, we have had a request to do Wee Wee Hours!" Very, very cool. How many people can say that Chuck Berry Played their request? For that matter how many artists even TAKE requests? I don't know what made Mr. Marsala remind him of that, but I thank you sir. And while I'm talking about Jim Marsala- is there anyone in the world who has a better job than to be Chuck Berry's bassist? I think not. I don't know their history, but in Chuck's autobiography there is a picture of them together that is about thirty years old so they go back a bit. Excellent playing, Jim.
As I said the show was excellent. It was great to see CBII as well as Ingrid perform with their father. At the end of the show, CBII said a few words, thanking the people at BB Kings as well as the audience, and then he gave me a shoutout from the stage!!! Incredible, incredible. Since then I've said some things, and now I have to mow his lawn.
The best was yet to come...after the show, maybe 7 or 8 people were hanging out by the side of the stage. You never know what will happen so I went right over there...sure enough, after a few minutes, There comes Chuck...into a little tiny room right off to the side of the stage. We got to go in individually to say hello!! Apparently after I and my girlfriend came out, someone else snapped a picture in the room (they had asked no pictures), rudely may I add, and I think Chuck got a little ticked off and not everyone got to go in. I believe he signed autographs for everyone though. He signed a beautiful one for me, on my LP "Rockin' at the Hops"... I will treasure it forever but the real thrill, the biggest one of my life, was when I had a minute of his time and was able to personally thank him for the enjoyment his music has given me for so long. He was very gracious, and it was the topper of a great , great night. Wow.
You know, I am very thankful for this website. I would never have gotten to see Chuck for the first time 3 years ago in NJ otherwise, I'm sure I wouldn't have known about it. The site a great community of people united by our love of Rock'nRoll in general, and Chuck Berry in specific. At the same time, I'm kicking myself for not being more aware of Chuck's activities over the last 20 years. I know I've missed a lot of great shows. But I'm still very lucky to have had the chance to meet my hero. Mr. Berry I think I know how you felt when you met McKinley Morganfield.
For about a month after the show, and even now, anytime my mind was idle for even a minute, I would flash back to the details of this great night...laying in bed at night, at work, whatever. I told EVERYONE! "Guess what I did New Year's Eve?"...
Mr. Berry, I told you I would see you at Blueberry Hill and I truly hope to do so. I won't ask you for another autograph but I may request a song!!! And hopefully I'll get to say hello to you again. I can't say enough what you and your music mean to me. The only downside to the night was thinking afterward that I'll probably never top it. But I'll never forget it either. I hope this post finds you and your family well. Please play BB's again soon!!! I'll be in the front.
And thanks again, CBII, for making me feel like a vip. Peace everyone!
ps what's up javiluuuuuu!!!