Friday Night: Chuck Berry At Nutty Jerry's

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Photos by Marc Brubaker
Chuck Berry
Nutty Jerry's, Winnie
March 4, 2011

"Chuck Berry is food" - Keith Richards

There is no adequate way to describe the evolutionary gift that Chuck Berry signifies to the world at large. He created everything that we hold dear and true - all the sex, anger, struggle, revolution, happiness, and strength that he helped create on a grander scale by creating rock and roll and every other tributary of it with a handful of his hopped-up blues and rockabilly chords shaped the past 60 years of the world.

"It's as if the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame loaned the Chuck Berry exhibit to the venue tonight. They turned it on and it still works, somehow," one of our moustachioed brethren said to us as we sat outside Nutty Jerry's smoking a cigarette on Friday night. Our Chuck Berry countdown stood at a little less than a 30 minutes.

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A black limo was circling the Winnie venue, and we still weren't sure if it was Berry himself enjoying the spoils of being a touring artist, or some local celebrity on a weekend splurge. There was a sense of reverence in the venue, at least among the younger set.

On the way to the show, we wondered aloud about how an 84-year old could stand up next to his legacy. Would the show be a wash of epic proportions, or a fiery testament to the sacraments that this prophet, along with Elvis Presley, divvied out to the masses? The things that would birth the Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page...

In the end it was depressing, humbling and life-affirming all at once, because no one, not even Berry the bitter octogenarian, could come close to replicating the sound he made in the '50s. One million artists and groups would follow him, but now not even the man himself could hold one of those songs up to the same quality as the day he recorded them.

When you watch Chuck Berry play, for better or worse, you are seeing Adam eat the apple, the beginning of the Mississippi River, the opening minutes of The Godfather, or the marriage between chocolate and peanut butter.

Hail, hail rock and roll

Deliver me from the days of old

Long live rock and roll

The beat of the drums, loud and bold

Rock, rock, rock and roll

The feelin' is there, body and soul.


Location Info

Map

Nutty Jerry's (Winnie)

18291 Englin Road, Winnie, TX

Category: Music

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7 comments
Joe Driscoll
Joe Driscoll

I thought it was a pretty good show. I saw videos on youtube that didnt sound as good. But I loved it. I wish I could still hold a guitar, let alone play it, by the time I'm his age. And BTW, you forgot Wee Wee Hours in your set list.

larry
larry

if you want to see chuck in his prime check out rock and roll music the toronto show from 1969 on vhs he was 43. the vhs has the best raw sound. it on dvd too, but was digitally remastered which ruined the sound in my opinion.check out the dishwater blonde during reeling and rocking,thats what that 50s preacher was talking about when he called rock the devils rythm ,i was like that at a jerry lee concert once,i could have stopped but it felt so good i didnt, even with people watching me.angus young listens to chuck,jerry lee,little richard,bo diddley to get his pump primed before going out on stage with acdc.i hope nuttyjerrys is very successful. i wish chuck would just sing the songs and let someone else do the guitar playing, there a lot of guitarist that would practically play free for chuck.he does hit a few good licks every once in a while that he doesnt believe he could still do by the expression on his face.maybe god is trying to tell him something.

OldBluesDude
OldBluesDude

This is better than the Borders book tour I was thinking would be more appropriate. Hire a ghost writer, spin some tales of years gone past, do a book signing. This review puts lipstick on a pig. John Lee Hooker got to me years ago at Fitzgeralds. Beware the nostalgic Oldie show. Today's touring artists deserve your support.

Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

I'm for placing all of these legends on the stage after they reach eighty years old with their music playing - softly- in the background.

Allow tickets to be sold at $500 each which allows for seating on the stage in a special chair that ticket holders will own and take home. Two drinks, thirty minutes of reminiscing with the artists, hand shake and a final personal photograph with the artist by a professional photographer.

Priceless!

LoT205
LoT205

I almost went to this but my friend who was going with my had an emergency and so we couldn't go. It's sad that they didn't sell many tickets. I'm worried about Nutty Jerry's, I want it to stick around. But good review.

Mark C Austin
Mark C Austin

Well put, Mr. Hlavaty. Totally agree with Peter here too. It was tough to watch, but totally worth it. Thanks for everything, Chuck.

peter
peter

This is a really respectful review, which is what he deserves. Good job!

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