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Chuck Berry – Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll

Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll

He is the father of Rock & Roll. So, it makes since that he would celebrate his 60th birthday in a rock & roll way!  Berry tears up the stage with the “lady of blues,” Etta James. It’s being filmed for a documentary by director Taylor Hackford called Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll. For the occasion of Chuck Berry’s 60th birthday.

The Storyline

St. Louis, Missouri. For Chuck Berry’s 60th birthday, Keith Richards assembles a pickup band of Robert Cray, Joey Spampinato, Eric Clapton, himself, and longtime pianist Johnnie Johnson. Joined on stage by Etta James, Linda Ronstadt and Julian Lennon, Berry performs his classic rock songs. His abilities as a composer, lyricist, singer, musician and entertainer are on display and, in behind-the-scenes interviews, are discussed by Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers, Bruce Springsteen and others. There’s even a rarity for Berry, a rehearsal. Archival footage from the early 1950s and a duet with John Lennon round out this portrait of a master. 

Taylor Hackford does a phenomenal job in this documentary. He captures Berry in all of his many guises – charming, professional, intelligent, thoughtful, petulant, difficult, and combative. 

Musicians & Guest Performers

Assembled for the concert are musicians Chuck Levelle, Bobby Keyes, Joey Spampinato and Steve Jordon along with Berry’s longtime collaborator. Along with pianist Johnnie Johnson under the musical direction of Keith Richards. Guest performers includes, Eric Clapton, Etta James, Linda Ronstadt, Robert Cray, Julian Lennon and guest of honor himself Chuck Berry.

Interviews on his career are provided by rock and roll contemporaries Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Roy Orbison, Bo Diddley. Additional interviews on his inspiration come from Bruce Springsteen and an older clip from John Lennon.

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