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  1. Kevin says:

    That was a very BIG moment for John! Probably as big as meeting Elvis. Chuck Berry was a hero to John.

  2. Michael says:

    Mike Douglas Show, right? Yoko really should have stayed a spectator on this one! Just ask Chuck…

  3. Ishie says:

    The Mike Douglas Show … February 1972.

    The Lennon-Ono’s co-hosted Mike’s show for one week and it made television history. For most of America it was a mind/eye opening experience. John & Yoko were given ‘carte-blanche’ and invited guests and discussed topics that were important to them.

    The week was engaging and definitely provided “food for thought” for viewers everywhere!

  4. Chuck Berry is notorious for never practicing for a show.

    Since his early 60s concert appearances, he has never met anyone from his backing band before he stepped on stage. He does not have his own band, his concert contract rider states that promoters must provide musicians who are familiar with his material.

    Chuck Berry comes to town the day of the show, arrives at the venue promptly 15 minutes before the show is to begin, and leaves within 15 minutes after the show (only long enough to collect his check).

    Proof of this can be seen in the film, “Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll.

    I’m almost positive Lennon never got to rehearse with Berry before the show. If I’m not mistaken, Lennon may have said he just saw Berry briefly backstage just before the show went on the air.

  5. A Different Chris says:



  6. Jameseyboy says:

    John just didnt sound good to me on this get together, his vocal were thin and quite hard to really enjoy at all, something I never thought of with John, it seemed such a shame that this event was wasted, no doubt berry’s lack of rehearsal time with John didnt help but I cant help feeling John somehow lost it with his singing at this time, perhaps hed blown his talents after the drugs and life experience and it didnt come back for some years, particularly his singing I mean, still he did get up there!

  7. James, NOBODY sounded good on this :-) it’s just dreadful, and shows everyone at their worst, tho out of everyone I think John comes off best, Elephants Memory are beyond hideous on this, I’ve heard school bands of twelve year olds sound better, tighter than they were on this. Hence the title of the blog entry.

  8. Jamesboy:

    So John’s singing was a bit off with Berry. This was due to no rehearsal whatsoever on songs that John had not sung since the early 60s.

    John’s voice was spot on during his performances throughout the week on the Mike Douglas Show… such as on “Imagine”.

    “Blown his talents?” “Particularly his singing… and did not come back for years?” Have you not heard his vocals on “Instant Karma,” “Power to the People,” “Mind Games” and “Bless You?” or have you listened to the PLASTIC ONO BAND, IMAGINE, and WALLS AND BRIDGES albums at all? C’mon!

  9. Kevin says:

    John didn’t do his “homework” preparing to jam with Chuck Berry. It came off like a lot of the crappy jam sessions heard in the Let It Be film with The Beatles.
    John, like Chuck, notoriously never practiced. Hell, The Beatles rarely practiced together. Their practices were done in the studio in the process of creating their songs for the albums.
    It is sad the music came off so bad in this tv moment, but the photo shows two legends looking like they were having a blast. I’ll at least take that, and treasure it.

  10. Kevin says:

    This photo represents symbolically the “marraige” or “embracing” of black american rhythm and blues by the white british musicians of the 1960’s who were reponsible for bringing it into the mainstream of rock & roll music in America. Before the so-called “British Invasion”, Rhythm & Blues music in America remained almost unheard on radio stations, except when white artists would cover it, usually very badly. It was bands like The Beatles, The Stones, The Animals, and others who “legitmized” the music and the artists who created it.
    This photo says all that and more…..

  11. Yudae says:

    Not only the performance, the sound was awful too. John does the solo and you can’t hear a thing. It’s like EVERYTHING went wrong!

  12. jm689 says:

    Yes, that wasn’t a mesmerizing duo for sure. i hope John had a great time playing with Chuck Berry tho.
    On a Chuck Berry note, has anybody seen the footage of Berry schooling Keith Richards? Priceless (go on youtube if you haven’t seen it)

  13. bill c. says:

    Maybe it’s best they never jammed with Elvis or if they did we never heard it . Our imaginations might be better.

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