Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode

First performance: 28/04/1973


Coverinfo

Bruce played the song 5 times and once as a snippet :
 
  • Greetings From Asbury park tour 
1973-04-28 - COLE FIELD HOUSE, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK, MD 
The song was played by Chuck Berry backed by Bruce and his band
 
  • Off- Tour   
1982-09-18 - BIG MAN'S WEST, RED BANK
Dave Edmunds 
 
During the concert for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The song was played by Chuck Berry backed by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.
 
The Music of Asbury Park's West Side
 
2017-04-21 - PARAMOUNT THEATRE, ASBURY PARK
Bruce, Southside Johnny, Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul, and more come together on stage as the Upstage Jam Band for a show that took place as part of the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival. In the afternoon the documentary Just before the Dawn, about the legendary Upstage Club, received its premiere. For this documentary Little Steven, Garry Tallent, Southside Johnny and Vini Lopez were all interviewed. For the show, Bruce mostly contributed guitar and backing vocals. He was not on stage for several additional songs not listed under. He took lead vocals for "Lucille" and duet vocals with Southside on "Something You Got". Vini Lopez takes lead vocals on the first performance since 1971 of "The Ballad Of Jesse James". 
 
 
 
 
  • Snippet 
during JOHNNY 99
 
2009-09-21 Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA 
Bruce raps a few paraphrased lines of "Johnny B. Goode" over Steve's guitar solo in "Johnny 99". 
 

Songinfo

"Johnny B. Goode" is a 1958 rock-and-roll song written and first recorded by Chuck Berry. "Johnny B. Goode" is considered one of the most recognizable songs in the history of popular music. The song is about an illiterate "country boy" from the New Orleans area, who plays a guitar "just like ringing a bell", and who might one day have his "name in lights". Berry acknowledged that the song is partly autobiographical .  The opening guitar riff of "Johnny B. Goode" is essentially a note-for-note copy of the opening single-note solo on Louis Jordan's "Ain't That Just Like a Woman" (1946), played by guitarist Carl Hogan. Berry wrote four more songs involving the character Johnny B. Goode, "Bye Bye Johnny", "Go Go Go", "Johnny B. Blues" and "Lady B. Goode".
 
 
 

Bruce on the artist

When Chuck Berry died Bruce tweeted :

"Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived. This is a tremendous loss of a giant for the ages."

Springsteen and Berry played together on at least two occasions. As back up at the University of Maryland in 1973. Springsteen asked what songs they were going to do. Berry said : " we're going to do some Chuck Berry songs." More than 20 years later, Springsteen again played backup for Berry, at a concert at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, celebrating the opening of the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame.
 
Bruce had 3 performances together with Chuck Berry:

1995-09-02 Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, OH
The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inauguration concert
 
 
 
1987-01-21 Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, NY
The second annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony. 

1973-04-28 Cole Field House, University Of Maryland, College Park, MD
One show, triple bill, with Chuck Berry headlining, [Lee Lewis]] second billed and Bruce and the boys opening. A show now steeped in legend. Berry's contract stipulated that it was the promoter's responsibility to supply him with a backing band for this concert. Apparently Bruce learned about a week before the show that the promoter was seeking a group to support Berry and immediately volunteered his band's services for free, which the promoter gladly accepted. There was no rehearsal or soundcheck with Berry, so Bruce and the boys improvised as best they could. The show was Bruce's first known appearance in Maryland. Bruce and the boys opened their part of the show with a 50-minute set, followed by a 60-minute set by Jerry Lee Lewis and his band. Chuck Berry (with Springsteen's entire band backing him, including Bruce and Southside Johnny) closed the evening's festivities with a 70-minute performance. Springsteen recounts some hilarious details in the 1987 Chuck Berry documentary Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll, but does not mention Southside Johnny’s appearance. Fearing that Berry might not want a harp player Bruce positioned Southside in the shadows at the extreme end of the stage. However Berry enjoyed the harp playing and near the end of the show he actually acknowledged Southside to the crowd saying "that white boy can blow, can’t he!" This almost sold out gig in the 15,000 seat Cole Field House was not without some controversy. Such was the demand to see the show that the school newspaper reported that twenty people were arrested when police spotted individuals sneaking into the concert via an open female lavatory window at the back of the building. Apparently 200-300 people made it in before the police caught wind of what was going on. 
 
List of songs co-credited to Bruce Springsteen and Chuck Berry:
 
   

Lyrics

Deep down in Louisiana close to New Orleans
Way back up in the woods among the evergreens
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode
Who never ever learned to read or write so well
But he could play the guitar just like a ringing a bell

Go go
Go Johnny go go
Go Johnny go go
Go Johnny go go
Go Johnny go go
Johnny B. Goode

He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack
Go sit beneath the tree by the railroad track
Oh the engineers would see him sitting in the shade
Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made
The people passing by they would stop and say
"Oh my that little country boy could play"

Go go
Go Johnny go go
Go Johnny go go
Go Johnny go go
Go Johnny go go
Johnny B. Goode

His mother told him, "Someday you will be a man
And you will be the leader of a big old band
Many people coming from miles around
To hear you play your music when the sun go down
Maybe someday your name will be in lights
Saying 'Johnny B. Goode tonight'"

Go go
Go Johnny go
Go go go Johnny go
Go go go Johnny go
Go go go Johnny go
Go
Johnny B. Goode