Chuck Berry

While a recording artist and studio musician at Mercury records in 1969 San Francisco, I was called to play on a recording session for Chuck Berry who had signed a one album deal with Mercury to record with his 18 year old daughter.

At the conclusion of the last recording session on which I played harmonica, Chuck took the bass player and me out to eat. Upon entering a little hippie joint down the street from the studio there was a large notice posted on the wall which stated:

NO CHECKS, CREDIT CARDS OR BILLS LARGER THAN $20.

After enjoying hot meatloaf sandwiches, Chuck went up to pay the bill.and pulled out a large wallet with a section that rolled down at least 8 – 10 credit cards. The young lady behind the counter pointed to the notice affixed to the wall and said, I’m sorry sir, we don’t take credit cards.” Then Chuck pulled out a checkbook and the young lady again pointed to the notice and said she was sorry but no checks. Next, Chuck pulled out a $100 bill to which the young lady remarked that she could accept no bills larger than a twenty. So with a grimace, Chuck counted out the exact change which he had all along.

At this time another young lady came up to the cashier and whispered into her ear and the cashier smiled and said, “Oh sir! I didn’t know you were famous, can I get your autograph.” Chuck smiled and said, sure baby, and the cashier slid a napkin across the counter to which he scribbled out the autograph.

As I was the last one out the door, I glanced down at the autographed napkin which read……FATS DOMINO……..

Hewlett Crist

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