Berry Chased Over Spanish No-Shows

Skipping a couple of Spanish shows has led to Chuck Berry being sued for more than $93,000 in federal court.

Cheyenne Productions S.A., which filed suit in Missouri Eastern District Court Jan. 28, says Berry was to be paid $363,000 for 12 concerts across Europe. He skipped three but allegedly didn’t pay back the $93,000 total he was paid for those shows and $30,000 in extra travel expenses.

The suit also accuses Berry of performing 11 overseas shows in November arranged by Cheyenne, but cutting Cheyenne out of the deal. The Nevada company is also asking for reimbursement of other costs and unspecified punitive damages.

Berry’s attorney Wayne Schoeneberg told U.S. newswires that he hadn’t studied the court papers and couldn’t give detailed comment on them.

“I know that Charles [Berry] always honors his obligations,” Schoeneberg said.

Despite being 82 years old, Berry, a St. Louis native, still plays throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Cheyenne says it’s been booking concerts for the rock ’n’ roll pioneer since 2003. The suit says Berry never returned a signed copy of the contract. But Cheyenne attorney George Vinci said there was clearly an agreement that Berry would perform the shows.

Days before the first show, Cheyenne claims it wired Berry $360,000 – $30,000 for each of the 12 shows. But after receiving the money, Berry allegedly postponed the Toulouse show and one in Cordoba, Spain. Cheyenne rescheduled Cordoba but couldn’t do so for Toulouse.

It also claims Berry refused to return the $30,000 for the Toulouse show and demanded an additional $3,000 for the remaining 11 shows. Cheyenne said it gave him the additional money.

The suit claims Berry performed nine shows, then without explanation left Europe without performing the final two, both in Spain. Cheyenne said that in addition to the money Berry kept, it also had to pay for such things as reimbursing concert promoters for the canceled shows as well as airline tickets.

The suit also alleges that Cheyenne organized a November European tour for Berry. No contract was signed, and Cheyenne said Berry performed 11 dates through another booking agent, even though those concerts were set up by Cheyenne.

The suit said Berry refused to pay Cheyenne for setting up the tour.