Chuck Berry, who helped give us rock 'n' roll, died yesterday at his home in Missouri.
In his biography of Berry, Brown Eyed Handsome Man, Bruce Pegg writes about a May 3, 1958 concert Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis gave at the old Boston Garden, emceed by DJ Alan Freed: The cops, already antagonistic towards the new type of music, repeatedly ordered Freed to get fans dancing in the aisle back in their seats - and they refused to let Freed lower the lights as Berry performed. People in the audience got rowdy; chairs and fists began to fly; the show ended early.
In the aftermath, Mayor John Hynes vowed to keep Berry and his ilk out of Boston, telling Variety:
These so-called music programs are a disgrace. They must be stopped and they will be stopped here - effective at once. As far as the City of Boston is concerned, ... if the kids are hungry for this kind of music they'll starve for it - until they learn to behave like citizens instead of hooligans. Boston will have no more rock and roll.