Bruce Springsteen should’ve known he’d have his hands full with Chuck Berry for a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance in 1995, as he recalled from his first run in with Berry in the late 70’s. Chuck walked in with five minutes to spare. Bruce said, "What are we doing Chuck?"
Chuck said, “We’re gonna play some Chuck Berry songs.”
Well, fast forward 15-20 years.
At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert, "Johnny B Goode" was a little wobbly. Watch it above.
You could tell by the looks the band was giving each other. It was an all star jam, which included Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders.
This was a seven hour concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opening. The evening was just weird. The last song was Chuck Berry’s "Rock and Roll Music." This was awful (watch below). Chuck didn’t tell the band what song they were doing or what key it would be in. But during the song, Berry switched keys on the band four or five times, and the only reason the E Street band would come up with is, “Chuck Berry wanted to screw with us.”
At the height of it, Chuck decided to slowly walk off the stage. He left the E street band playing in six different keys with no band leader, gets in the car and drives away.
Nils Lofgren said, “I don’t think the two of us have ever participated in something that godawful musically since we were probably 13 or 14. I didn’t even start playing until I was 14”
They did find humor in it though.