The Haps: Chuck Berry B. Goode

| Scene Reporter

When I turn 83, I hope still to have control of my bowels and at least one of my original hips. On the other hand, Mr. Chuck Berry, who turned 83 on Sunday, is still rocking and rolling without missing a step. The St. Louis-born rock legend plays at the Delmar Loop’s Blueberry Hill once a month, and his performance is impressive for anyone, let alone an octogenarian.

The Duck Room, where his concerts are held, is located in the basement of Blueberry Hill. The small, brick-walled venue with open rafters and uncovered pipes creates a surreal atmosphere in which you are never more than 30 feet away from the stage. It’s like Chuck himself invited you to one of his jam sessions, just to hang out.

There are no flashy costumes or effects for the concert. The performance consists of just a few guys wearing baseball hats, sweatshirts and Guy Harvey polo shirts and playing backup to Chuck Berry and his Gilligan Island-style Skipper hat. It actually makes for quite a beautiful sight.

Unlike most modern rock stars’ concerts, while listening to Berry, you never once wonder how much voice-altering software it took to turn his voice into what’s on the record. Berry and his band know how to play, and every song is as good as you remember it to be.

Even if you’re not a huge fan, you’ve definitely heard some of Berry’s songs, which include “Johnny B. Goode,” “Rock and Roll Music,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “No Particular Place to Go” and the always crowd-pleasing “My Ding-a-Ling.”

While you’re in St. Louis, you should really try to make it to one of his shows. But be warned that they sell out every month. Tickets are available on Blueberry Hill’s Web site,, and normally go on sale about a month beforehand.

His next concert is Nov. 18, which means it’s the perfect time to try to get tickets. If they are already sold out, however, there’s always his December concert to look forward to. Tickets are very reasonably priced at $30, and the shows normally start at 9 p.m.

While Chuck won’t be jumping around on stage like the Jonas Brothers, his concerts are well worth checking out. He was one of the first musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and even at 83, that boy can “play the guitar just like a-ringing a bell.”

Other Happenings

7-9 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 21, at City Museum, 701 N. 15th St.
Ron Currie, Jr., award-winning author of “God is Dead” and “Everything Matters!”, will be meeting fans and signing books at the event, sponsored by several local bookstores.

7 p.m.-12:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 22, at Molly’s in Soulard, 816 Geyer Ave.
From 7 p.m. on, Hayride will be taking people throughout Soulard and dropping them off at participating restaurants and pubs. The event includes a costume contest at 9 p.m., and special food and drink prices at the restaurants. Tickets cost $10 each.

1-5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24 at Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd.
Come support Tom’s Shoes, a company that donates a pair of shoes to children in need for every pair it sells. You can buy a pair of shoes and have them decorated by local artists. Entrance fee to the Garden still applies.

2-10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24, at Laclede’s Landing.
A Bavarian-themed day of live music, German food and activities, including costume contests, out on the Landing. Proceeds go towards Play It Forward St. Louis, an organization dedicated to funding local music education.

Noon-? a.m., Oct. 24 at J. Buck’s, 101 S. Hanley Rd. Bring Wash. U. ID for appetizer and drink specials all day.

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