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More memories of 1980 Chuck Berry concert on the Norfolk coast

PUBLISHED: 13:33 26 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:33 26 March 2017

Chuck Berry in concert. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Chuck Berry in concert. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

More memories of Chuck Berry’s concert at a village on the north Norfolk coast have resurfaced.

The Chuck Berry signature Rex Sergeant got at West Runton: Pictures: Kim SergeantThe Chuck Berry signature Rex Sergeant got at West Runton: Pictures: Kim Sergeant

Rock ‘n’ Roll’s founding guitar hero died at the age of 90 on March 18.

Known for classics such as Roll over Beethoven, he performed in the pavilion at West Runton, between Sheringham and Cromer, on May 31, 1980.

Kim Sergeant, 57, from Barnham Broom, missed out on the gig, but his late father Rex went, and he still has the original poster advertising the event.

The father of one, who works at Easton College, said: “Sadly, I did not see him then and I had to wait until he appeared at the Ipswich Gaumont, another story for another day.

Chuck Berry on the bill at West Runton: Pictures: Kim SergeantChuck Berry on the bill at West Runton: Pictures: Kim Sergeant

“My late dad, who sadly died a couple of years ago, went to West Runton and I have the original poster advertising the gig. The tickets cost £6.50 and it’s interesting to note that bands such as UB40 and Iron Maiden cost only £2 each.

“Dad also kept the clipping of the concert review by Chris Wise in the EDP and a letter that was published in the paper about his evening.”

Mr Sergeant said his father saw the legendary musician in his stretch limousine and asked for an autograph.

He added: “As it was raining, Chuck told him to get in and my dad travelled with him, his daughter and guitarist Jim Masala. When they stopped at a Chinese restaurant he was invited in by his musical hero.

“While sitting at the table and chatting dad managed to get the elusive signature on the poster and that was the perfect end to a marvellous evening.

“As a massive Chuck Berry fan I am proud to have inherited these lovely pieces of music memorabilia and the music still sounds fresh and exciting now.” Mr Wise, 57, who lives in Norwich, spoke about the concert last week and said it was “very special” to see the man who had inspired The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the flesh. He also remembered the small crowd of about 200 at the venue, which could hold about 1,000 people.

In his review, Mr Wise concluded: “For just about the first time in my life I felt privileged to be at a concert.

“The reason was simply that Berry was in good voice, in good humour, played 100 minutes despite only being booked for an hour and even allowed youngsters on stage to dance with him.”


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