Chuck Berry's Ding-A-Ling

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Halfway through the year I knew

I wouldn’t make the grade.

A freezing night in ’72,

the time of Bloody Sunday.

Tension in Coventry.

But rock and roll

can save your soul.

Johnny B Goode,

lift me from my misery.


I had nowhere else to go.

The duck walk, Nadine, Carol,

Maybelline, and that novelty

song that must have

eaten half the set.

The wolfish grin,

part-shaman, part-showman.

We bellowed as Chuck

gleefully short-changed us.


The joke was they recorded it.

Months later top of the charts,

hundreds of us on the vinyl.

Number one, ma, that’s me!

Danced out of the Locarno

at midnight, past my mates

queuing to see the Floyd.

The night that was the start

of my comeback.

◄ A long way back from the front line

Lockdown haiku ►


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Greg Freeman

Thu 30th Apr 2020 22:50

Thanks for your comments, Jeff, Ray and Vautaw. And cheers for the likes, Liam, Kate G, and itsjustmedownhere

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Wed 29th Apr 2020 22:47

Love it Greg. Reminds me of good times. Long live roll! 🎸

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Wed 29th Apr 2020 22:22

Good to see you coming out on WOL Greg! I know how much it means to you and it's great to see it here. When you rub shoulders with the high rollers, as I have at times, you treasure such moments.


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Jeff Dawson

Wed 29th Apr 2020 21:11

Love this Greg! I remember this coming out, I was 10 at the time - of course I didn't really know who chuck berry was and what he did, just the novelty value of this, which under sold the real chuck berry.

Great stuff and thanks for your comment on To you.. cheers Jeff

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Greg Freeman

Mon 27th Apr 2020 15:40

Yes, John, I knew it at the time. That's a great story about your first gig!

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John Coopey

Mon 27th Apr 2020 15:11

Chuck Berry v Pink Floyd.
You made the right choice.
It still gives me great pleasure to relate to anyone who’ll listen that my first gig was was concert of a duo who were over 140 years old between them. They had 2 eyes and 3 legs.
Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee.

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Greg Freeman

Mon 27th Apr 2020 09:44

I think this is the first time I've posted this on Write Out Loud ... it was originally published in a music magazine called Heatwave at the time of the rock and roll legend and jailbird's death in 2017

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