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Chuck Berry and John Lennon Rock 'The Mike Douglas Show' in 1972

(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

In February 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono took over The Mike Douglas Show for a full week.

It was a week filled with unusual guests, including Ralph Nader, Jerry Rubin and Surgeon General Dr. Jesse Steinfeld. Douglas called it "probably the most memorable week I did in all my 20-something years on air."

The musical highlight of the week, however, was an appearance by one of Lennon's biggest heroes, Chuck Berry. Berry and Lennon even performed Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" and "Memphis, Tennessee" with Lennon's average-in-every-possible-way 1972 backing band, Elephant's Memory. You can watch both performances below.

As we've seen in two similar one-off Lennon performances from 1969 (with Eric Clapton) and 1971 (with Frank Zappa), Yoko Ono likes to scream into the microphone for reasons that are not immediately obvious, often taking otherwise-decent performances to unexpected places (and quality levels). Her appearance with Berry and Lennon was no exception. Check out Berry's facial expression at 1:21 during "Memphis, Tennessee" (the middle video) when Ono starts doing her thing.

"[Berry] was writing good lyrics and intelligent lyrics in the 1950s when people were singing 'Oh baby, I love you so,'" Lennon said during the show. "It was people like him that influenced our generation to try and make sense out of the songs rather than just sing 'do wah diddy.'"

Berry died March 18, 2017, at age 90.

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.