Steven Van Zandt sings ‘Bye Bye Johnny’ in tribute to Chuck Berry


Steven Van Zandt performed Chuck Berry’s “Bye Bye Johnny” with his Disciples of Soul, Saturday night in Maryland.

Playing his first U.S. show with his Disciples of Soul band since the 1980s, Saturday night at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, Md., Steven Van Zandt sang Chuck Berry’s “Bye Bye Johnny” in tribute to the legendary rock ‘n’ roller. Berry died earlier in the day, at the age of 90.

You can watch a video of the number below, uploaded to YouTube by hardcore E Street Band fan Mitch Slater.

The show was a benefit for the Rock and Roll for Children Foundation, and raised money for The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Van Zandt played with the Disciples of Soul in London in October, and they have more European dates scheduled for this summer. No other U.S. dates are currently scheduled.

Berry recorded “Bye Bye Johnny” in 1960 as a sequel to his 1958 hit, “Johnny B. Goode,” and released it as a single. Bruce Springsteen re-worked it as “Johnny Bye-Bye” and performed it often with the E Street Band between 1981 and 1985. Springsteen released “Johnny Bye-Bye” as a B-side to “I’m on Fire” in 1985, and also included it on his 1998 rarities boxed set, Tracks.

Springsteen and Berry shared the writing credit on “Johnny Bye-Bye.” 

Just for the record, the song Van Zandt performed in Maryland was definitely Berry’s original “Bye Bye Johnny,” not “Johnny Bye-Bye.”

Van Zandt has often talked about Berry’s importance, as one of the architects of rock ‘n’ roll.

“Chuck Berry made the boring teenage years into this wonderful, poetic adventure,” Van Zandt said in a 2014 interview with Vanity Fair. “He was probably the great lyricist of all time, in terms of creating the infrastructure and the form that would be copied by even Bob Dylan …”

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