Chuck Berry - guitar, vocals; Steve Miller - guitar, harmonica; Jim Peterman - keyboards; Lonnie Turner - bass; Tim Davis - drums
There are those who will argue that it was Chuck Berry, not Little Richard or Elvis, who was the real architect of rock 'n' roll. In reality, it was the combined influence of all those early rock pioneers that built the foundation of this style of music, but Chuck Berry certainly was one of the four main cornerstones. This show, recorded at The Winterland Ballroom in March, 1967, took place during a time when Berry was enjoying somewhat of a resurgence in his career, mostly thanks to the successful "rock ' n' roll revival" concerts that were then being spearheaded by east coast promoter Richard Nader. These shows introduced Berry to the hippie generation, who knew little about the man that introduced us to "Johnny B. Goode" and "Roll Over Beethoven," even though everyone from The Beatles to the Jimi Hendrix Experience were covering his songs. His influence was omnipresent during the time this concert was captured; even Brian Wilson was calling his group, The Beach Boys: "the four lads backed by Chuck Berry."
This historic recording marks the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship that Berry would enjoy with promoter Bill Graham, who booked him often at both Fillmores East and West during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The night this show was recorded, Berry shared the bill with the Grateful Dead. Berry grew his hair longer and donned bell-bottoms for this show, but never changed his sound or style. The show was a virtual greatest hits package, with Berry faithfully re-creating such 1950s classics as "School Days," "Reelin' And Rockin'," "Let It Rock" and, of course, "Johnny B. Goode." Of special note: during this show, Berry played a little known risque gem called "My Ding A Ling," which in 1972 became his last Top 10 hit.