Chuck Berry

Live at Fillmore Auditorium

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During June of 1967, while the Sgt. Pepper's album was redefining the meaning of rock music in peoples' minds, Berry was playing a series of gigs in San Francisco with the Steve Miller Band, highlights of which appeared on this album released the following October. As a live album and a historical document, this is a worthwhile recording, because Berry's shows were still exciting. One of the few '50s rockers who continued to work regularly and effectively into the late '60s, Berry here shows the strategy that he used to survive before the nostalgia boom took him up and turned him into an oldies act: he became a bluesman again and played relatively little of his classic rock & roll. But that was OK, because Berry started out as a bluesman; the slow blues "Wee Wee Hours," not the rollicking "Maybellene" (which was recorded as a parody), represented his "real" music in 1955. Among the standards represented are Pete Chatman's "Everyday I Have the Blues," Willie Dixon's "Hoochie Coochie Man," Chuck Willis' "C.C. Rider" (done as a slow blues), and a variation on John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson's "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl." He plays a few familiar rockers, including a relatively uncensored "Reelin' and Rockin'" and "My Ding-a-Ling" (in a version far shorter than the subsequent hit from The London Chuck Berry Sessions album).

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