Chuck Berry - Sweet Little Sixteen

First performance: 28/04/1973


Coverinfo

Bruce covered the song 25 times ( soundcheck included )
 
1973-04-28 - COLE FIELD HOUSE, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK, MD
One show, triple bill, with Chuck Berry headlining, Jerry Lee Lewis second billed and Bruce and the band 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. Sadly there is no known audio of this show.
 
  • Darkness on the edge of town tour 
1978-08-01 - GAILLARD MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM, CHARLESTON
1978-08-05 - LOUISVILLE GARDENS, LOUISVILLE, KY
1978-08-10 - ROCHESTER COMMUNITY WAR MEMORIAL, ROCHESTER
1978-08-14 - HAMPTON ROADS COLISEUM, HAMPTON
 
  • The River Tour 
1980-11-01 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL SPORTS ARENA, LA
Guest appearance by Jackson Browne on the tour premiere (and the last concert performance) of Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen".
 
  
 
  • Tunnel of love Tour
During the " tunnel of love tour" . The soundcheck includes Slim Harpo's "Rainin' In My Heart" (not the Buddy Holly song with the same title), "Big Boss Man", "Let It Be Me", "Cathy's Clown" and "Crying In The Rain" (both also The Everly Brothers) and both "Rock And Roll Music" and "Sweet Little Sixteen" by Chuck Berry. The second song of the soundcheck has historically been titled "The Way You Walk", however a little investigation has revealed it to be John Lee Hooker's "Dimples". Perhaps Bruce had considered including the song in the Express Tour set, but instead settled on "Boom Boom" which will be premiered four days after this show in Bloomington, MN.
 
 
 
 
  • Off-Tour
1980-08-16 - THE FORUM, INGLEWOOD, CA
Jackson Browne
 
1982-06-20 - THE STONE PONY, ASBURY PARK
Cats on a Smooth Surface
 
1982-06-27 - THE STONE PONY, ASBURY PARK
Cats on a Smooth Surface

1982-07-23 - EAST FREEHOLD SHOWGROUNDS, FREEHOLD
Sonny Kenn

1982-07-31 - BIG MAN'S WEST, RED BANK
Sonny Kenn

1983-07-16 - THE HEADLINER, NEPTUNE
Midnight Thunder

1983-08-02 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY
Jackson Browne

1987-08-02 - THE STONE PONY, ASBURY PARK
Jackson Browne
Cats on a Smooth Surface

1989-07-27 - THE HEADLINER, NEPTUNE
The Fabulous Greaseband

1989-09-23 - McLOONE'S RUM RUNNER, SEA BRIGHT

1989-09-29 - MATT'S SALOON, PRESCOTT
Mile High Band

1989-12-17 - VENTURA THEATER, VENTURA, CA
Clarence Clemons
 

Songinfo

"Sweet Little Sixteen" is a song written and first recorded by Chuck Berry, who released it as a single in January 1958. The Beach Boys' 1963 song "Surfin' U.S.A." features lyrics by Brian Wilson set to the music of "Sweet Little Sixteen." Under pressure from Berry's publisher, Wilson's father and manager, Murry Wilson, gave the copyright, including Brian Wilson's lyrics, to Arc Music.
 
 
 

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

They're really rockin' in Boston
In Pittsburgh, PA
Deep in the heart of Texas
And round the Frisco Bay
All over St. Louis
And down in New Orleans
All the cats wanna dance with
Sweet little sixteen

Sweet little sixteen
She's just got to have
About a half a million
Framed autographs
Her wallet filled with pictures
She gets 'em one by one
Become so excited
Watch her, look at her run, boy

"Oh mommy, mommy
Please may I go
It's such a sight to see
Somebody steal the show
Oh daddy, daddy
I beg of you
Whisper to mommy
It's all right with you"

Cause they'll be rockin' on Bandstand
Philadelphia, PA
Deep in the heart of Texas
And round the Frisco Bay
All over St. Louis
Way down in New Orleans
All the cats wanna dance with
Sweet little sixteen

Cause they'll be rockin' on Bandstand
Philadelphia, PA
Deep in the heart of Texas
And round the Frisco Bay
All over St. Louis
Way down in New Orleans
All the cats wanna dance with, oh
Sweet little sixteen

Sweet little sixteen
She's got the grown up blues
Tight dresses and lipstick
She's sportin' high heel shoes
Oh, but tomorrow morning
She'll have to change her trend
And be sweet sixteen
And back in class again

Well, they'll be rockin' in Boston
Pittsburgh, PA
Deep in the heart of Texas
And round the Frisco Bay
Way out in St. Louis
Way down to New Orleans
All the cats wanna dance with
Sweet little sixteen