Chuck Berry  - Back in the USA

First performance: 05/02/1975


Coverinfo

Bruce covered the song 4 times:
 
All in 1975
 
One show, held as a benefit for the ~270-seat coffeehouse, with Springsteen & The E Street Band the sole act on the bill. It was broadcast by WMMR-FM. A wild, majestic version of Chuck Berry's "Back In The U.S.A." was played that night .
 
1975-02-06 - WIDENER FIELD HOUSE, WIDENER COLLEGE, CHESTER, PA
 
1975-12-27 - TOWER THEATER, UPPER DARBY, PHILADELPHIA
 
 
during THE DETROIT MEDLEY
 
1975-09-23 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, MI
The first known Detroit Medley which inlcudes a complete rendition of 'Back in the USA'.
 
 

Songinfo

"Back in the U.S.A." is a song written by Chuck Berry that was released in 1959 . The song's lyrics were supposedly written based upon Berry returning to the USA following a trip to Australia and witnessing the living standards of Australian Aborigines: as Berry's biography on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website states, with "Back in the U.S.A" "Berry saluted such everyday pleasures as the drive-ins and corner cafes where hamburgers sizzle on an open grill night and day/Yeah, and a jukebox jumping with records like in the U.S.A.
 
 
 

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

Oh well, oh well, I feel so good today
We touched ground on an international runway
Jet propelled back home, from over the seas to the U. S. A.
New York, Los Angeles, oh, how I yearned for you
Detroit, Chicago, Chattanooga, Baton Rouge
Let alone just to be at my home back in ol' St. Lou
Did I miss the skyscrapers, did I miss the long freeway?
From the coast of California to the shores of Delaware Bay
You can bet your life I did, till I got back to the U. S. A.
Looking hard for a drive-in, searching for a corner café
Where hamburgers sizzle on an open grill night and day
Yeah, and a juke-box jumping with records like in the U.S.A.
Well, I'm so glad I'm livin' in the U.S.A.
Yes. I'm so glad I'm livin' in the U.S.A.
Anything you want, we got right here in the U.S.A.