Chuck Berry - MEMPHIS TENNESSEE

First performance: 14/12/1984


Coverinfo

Bruce played the song 2 times as a snippet:  

1984-12-13 - MID-SOUTH COLISEUM, MEMPHIS, TN

It is stated in the book Blinded by the Light that the set included a version of "Memphis, Tennessee" but it is not in evidence on the known tapes. It's likely that the Chuck Berry song was included in "Detroit Medley" (which did include "Travelin' Band"), as it was the following night in the same venue. 
 
 
Bruce covered the song only once in Memphis during the "Detroit Medley" . The medly includes the first and last verses of Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee" towards the end.
 
 
 

Songinfo

"Memphis, Tennessee", sometimes shortened to "Memphis", is a song by Chuck Berry, first released in 1959. Chuck Berry later composed a sequel, "Little Marie", which appeared in 1964 as a single and on the album St. Louis to Liverpool.
 
 
 

Bruce on the artist

Bruce on around and around in 1978 :
 
" Let’s play....let’s play 'Round and 'Round.....we never played this, I’m gonna, I’m gonna screw 'em up now.... here’s a song we used to do, we were playing at a little bar, uh....in New Jersey called the Student Prince.....”You can’t play that without five beers....I still remember...."
 
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

Long distance information, give me Memphis, Tennessee
Help me find the party trying to get in touch with me
She could not leave her number, but I know who placed the call
'Cause my uncle took the message and he wrote it on the wall

Help me, information, get in touch with my Marie
She's the only one who'd phone me here from Memphis, Tennessee
Her home is on the south side, high up on a ridge
Just a half a mile from the Mississippi bridge

Help me, information, more than that I cannot add
Only that I miss her and all the fun we had
But we were pulled apart because her mom did not agree
And tore apart our happy home in Memphis, Tennessee

Last time I saw Marie, she was waving me goodbye
With hurry-home drops on her cheek that trickled from her eye
Marie is only 6 years old, information, please
Try to put me through to her in Memphis, Tennessee