Just got back from a quick trip to St. Louis, MO to attend a small concert by Chuck Berry at the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill. The venue was a basement room and held, at most 200 people. I was in the second row of seats immediately in front of center stage. I was a little unsure as to what to expect. He is, after all. 80 years old. I was completely blown away. The fact that Chuck Berry can STILL rock the house.... still duckwalk... still blaze away on his "red guitar".... still drive the ladies wild.... still display a strong and vibrant voice.... still "bring it" with an intensity and clarity I could not even begin to imagine, was totally unexpected. If you can think of a great Chuck Berry song that you would hope he would sing at such an event, he sang it.... reinterpreting it and improvising on it in such a way that showed he was not merely going through the motions... I have seen Dylan and Joplin and Sinatra live and Chuck was better than any of them! Hail Hail Rock 'n Roll! and to reprise THAT event, last night we went to see the great Jazz saxaphonist, WIlli Akins at Spruill's where a sign outside read "no concealed weapons allowed", you had to walk through a metal detector to get into the bar, where my buddy and I were two of five caucasians in the audience of maybe 150. And at 57, we were among the youngest there...and in chinos and aloha shirts, we were definitely the most casually dressed. Old totally dapper african-american men dressed to the nines with fine panama hats sat and drank miller high life and listened to kick ass jazz until the wee hours. needless to say, I slept on the plane back to Maine.