Almanac Music: Chuck Berry at Festival Hall 1975

The sweat, smoke, and cold misery of thousands of defeated fist-fighters never seems to leave the suspended air of Melbourne’s Festival Hall. Even though the venue’s famous boxing ring has been disassembled for tonight’s show, the hall’s echo-enhancing walls still reverberate with the tolling clang of the bell. It’s a big, bloodied, booming cavern.

I’m here as a wide-eyed 13 year old anticipating the presence of true rock’n’roll royalty.

Visit our partner site Stereo Stories for Stephen Andrew’s memories of seeing Chuck Berry at The House Of Stoush.


  1. Vin – I saw Chuck Berry play live in Barcelona in 1987. One of the highlights of my trip away. What a concert! The place went completely off.

  2. Richard Jones says

    SAW Bill Haley and the Comets live at the West Melbourne Stadium long before it was known as Festival Hall. On the undercard, so to speak, were Freddie Bell and the Bellboys of “Giddy up a ding dong’ fame.
    And the Platters before many of them croaked — and new singers substituted.
    It was mid-50s. Maybe 1957. We came up from Geelong by train. Still have the programme somewhere in a tub — in the new garage.
    Also saw Jerry Lee Lewis at the same venue, purple-spangled suit and all, playing the piano with one heel on the keyboard from time to time. From memory 12 months after the Comets.
    ‘Great Balls of Fire’ and ‘Whole Lotta Shakin Goin’ On’ were obviously the highlights. A very young Tina Turner was on the undercard that evening.

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