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June 17, 2014

A Nod From Rod

Billy Peek tells SMILER about the historical night in St. Louis

posted by Mike Walton

This all started when I was trying to contact Rod's organization about trying to see him when he was going to perform here in St. Louis. After making contact with his organization, I got a reply that Rod would love to see me, so I thought it would be as the many times before, I would have a brief visit with Rod and chat a bit.

To my surprise the following day, I got a message that Rod wanted me to perform "Sweet Little Rock n Roller" with him here in St. Louis. His organization asked if I would be willing to do that and I said I would be happy to do it. I got this information early in the week, Rod's performance was going to be Friday, June 6. I was asked to do a sound check earlier that day, which ended up being beneficial.

I am of the old school, when monitor wedges and amps were on stage. The new technology of Rod's show enabled me to experience the in-ear monitor system and no amps on stage, through the wireless system. It was a little hard getting used to, but it all worked out in the end.

I was surprised that his audio/visual department were able to acquire the "live" footage from a Belle vue Manchester England concert some 30+ years ago. At the same time on a split screen, they synced my past duck walk with the "live" duck walk I did here in St. Louis. It was amazing! Although it was business as usual for Rod, it was a heartfelt moment for us both, with a big hug on stage. It was viewed upon here in St. Louis as an "historical" reunion and from what I've been hearing, it has also been viewed in the same way for Rod fans all over the world and not the least of which is "SMILER"!

The last few weeks have been quite surreal, 2 weeks prior to Rod's St. Louis show, I was on stage with my mentor Chuck Berry at a famous venue here in St. Louis. After being on stage with Rod in such a "big" production, it's even more amazing to me that without all the videos, the slick production, the background singers, horn sections, string sections, etc..... that 6 band mates, back in the day, could go on stage with amplifiers, monitor wedges and with a raspy voiced singer would make such an impact that they owned the world. God Bless the RSG!


Picture St. Louis By Donna Lee Manus
Picture Belle Vue Manchester By Tommy Kevitt

© 2019 SMILER Magazine

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