Some guys who backed him up at First Avenue in Minneapolis in the early 80s said that he rolled up to the club in a Cadillac, all alone, about 10 minutes before they were supposed to go on, never rehearsed or asked the band if they knew one song or another (in fact he never spoke a word to them except to scream curses at them on stage for making mistakes) played the gig, got paid in cash, put the money in his briefcase (which, along with his guitar case, was handcuffed to a pipe on the wall backstage while he played), packed up his guitar and got back in to the Cadillac and split.
I always though that was one of the funniest - maybe coolest - stories I ever heard about a touring musician.
There are many stories about him being a major prick. I remember a clip on youtube where he screams at Keith Richards during a jam they did together "Nobody touches Chuck Berrys amp!!" or something like that, talking about himself in the third person :D ... can't find it now, guess it got taken down.
Also many stories about him "only coming to collect the cash" like in this Screamin' Jay Hawkins (who was a natural born Showman in his own right) interview from 3:58 on
Wasn't there a story about Lightnin Hopkins where he was in a studio recording an album and he would stop after each song and demand payment before continuing? Being a black musician in the 1930s, 40s, 50s was no walk in the park.
This is funny & cool. It says it was done in New York but I think it was Philly. There's a local dj/radio personality Helen Leight who was in the audience when they show the crowd at the end of "Johnny B."
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