(Obituary Here) Chuck Berry, the singer, songwriter and guitar great who practically defined rock music with his impeccably twangy hits “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Memphis,” “My Ding-a-Ling” and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” has died. He was 90.
Tonight a reader wrote me and asked if I had a personal Chuck Berry encounter...indeed I have a really great story about meeting him....Thanks Jerry.
In 1975 I was 19 and just back in Michigan from Florida. Chuck was playing in Ypsilanti, MI and I did not have a ticket. Some friends agreed to open a side door and I would sneak into the theater once it was dark. So I was standing by the door waiting when a big red Cadillac pulls into the parking lot and parks. Out pops Chuck Berry with his guitar case and in stage clothes!
He comes up the stairs and orders me to knock on the door! So I did. The door opens and security was going to let him in and not me. Chuck told the guard that I was his security person! So I got in. He told me to take him to the office. He demanded his payment from the stage manager and got it in cash! Next we went back stage and he set the case across a chair and snapped it open.
He counted the money, 6,000.00 and took the guitar out and put the money inside. He snapped it shut and told me to not leave that case. Lucky me!! I got to see the entire show with 2 encores from the wings! After, he came offstage and handed me a 100.00 bill, put his guitar back in the case and split. Lovely night and the best concert I ever witnessed and I witnessed so many greats of the day but none were better than Chuck. Hail Hail, Chuck Berry! Rip. xK