I don't know about you, but when I think of people rioting at a concert, I don't think of Chuck Berry. When I think of a Chuck Berry concert, I picture people dancing in the aisles and in their seats. I don't think of Chuck Berry fans as being rowdy, but boy oh boy what happened on February 19, 1967 proved me wrong.
There was a resurge of interest in 1950s Rock n Roll in the U.K. in the early months of 1967. Teenagers were once again dressing like Teddy Boys and jiving with their girls that wore full skirts. The music of that time was also gaining popularity again and you can't think of 50's Rock n Roll without having Chuck Berry. Chuck got a group from Canada to back him and went on a U.K. tour. On February 19 the tour brought him to London, England, and the Savile Theater.
|Chuck and his band backstage during the tour in 1967 (photo by Barry Cassson)|
The Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein had owned the Savile Theater since 1965 and would rent it out for play productions during the week. The weekends, however, were reserved for concerts. The Sunday night rock concerts at the Savile became a tradition for many in London during the time. Chuck Berry's concert one of those Sunday nights. . Over 1,000 fans came to see the show. Most of them came dressed for the occasion. Many of the guys wore Zoot Suits and winkle-picker boots.