2.20.2011

CHUCK BERRY: HAIL HAIL ROCK N ROLL!


 

Happy Sunday.... Scott Morgan has the day off from Sunday Soul as he is on a flight home ... I thought we would write about Chuck Berry. Of course everyone knows Chuck Berry's work and that he is considered "the father of rock n roll". Just spent all day watching Chuck's life...



Recently I learned that Scott Richardson had been a creative consultant on "Hail Hail Rock n Roll". The wild documentary on Chuck Berry by Taylor Hackford. Just recently bought it as a gift for a friend's birthday. As I didn't run into that friend...I opened it up and popped it into the dvd... SO glad I did!!!

This set has 4 dvds of rock history! I was enveloped with rock rapture and joy all day transported by Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Keith Richards, Chuck, Bo Diddley, Bruce Springsteen and many others sharing information on Chuck's career and rock history in general..



Of course there was a ton of drama going on behind the scenes of HHRNR. Chuck was notoriously tough to wrangle. Never one to suffer fools... Chuck Berry knows exactly who HE IS. No upstart is going to "teach" him how to play...



The dvd works as Taylor Hackford early on decided to just play it straight. Honesty was the best policy... Keith and Chuck are both fascinating to watch as each tries to remain the "alpha"... Taylor shows it for what it is a contest.. battle of the titans...


It reminded me of meeting Chuck at Bowen Field House in the early 70's. I was standing by the side door to the field house when Chuck appeared with a guitar case. He asked me if I would guard his guitar and if I would he'd pay me $100.00. Sure! So I followed him into the building. We snaked around to the promoter's office and Chuck got his salary in cash.

With that... we went backstage where he opened his guitar case and removed the guitar. Then Chuck put the money inside the case and snapped it shut. My job was to guard that case until the show was over. Stayed right by that case until his show ended. Chuck gave me a hundred dollar bill and with that he took his guitar and put it in the case and drove off into the night...

4 comments:

Danny Norcal said...

I do love that Chuck Berry film "Hail, Hail, Rock-n-roll, its the best you'll ever hear of Mr. Berry. I especially like Robert Cray's version of Brown Eyed Handsome Man from the performance night. Chuck Berry will be appearing with The Blasters at this years "Viva Las Vegas, Rockabilly Weekender", it may be one of the last times Chuck Berry will sound good.

DEE troit Danny P said...

www.vivalasvegas.org
I have written to you about Viva Las Vegas, check out the site.
My band plays Chuck's "30 Days" and were working on "Almost Grown"

Talk to your guitar player friends about this. I found it very interesting that in the film Chuck and Keef can't quite decide exactly how to start "Sweet Little Rock-n- Roller." After playing drums for over forty years now I experienced this so many times. Any time a white boy trys to play Chuck Berry they just "Try to play it to darn fast" and it just dosen't have that swing. This goes for several of Chucks tunes that have that signature "Johnny B. Goode" introduction riff, which incidentally can first be heard before Chuck on some of Louis Jordan's recordings of the late forties. Now I do love me some MC5 but even their treatment of Back in the USA and any other white boy treatment of Chuck Berry just misses the mark so completely. It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing, Keef and Robert got it. Chuck Berry music is slow, with the drummer playing a swing beat, therefore you have Charlie Watts and therefore Keith Richards.

What good work you do!

Dee-Troit Danny P on the Beat
(drummer Lysa Cash and The Money Makers)
S.F. Bay Area, Northern California

Dr. Detroit said...

The real draw here is, of course, the sheer poetry of Berry's timeless body of work. As Jerry Lee Lewis so eloquently drawls, "He's the Hank Williams of rock 'n' roll."

I can't top that.

Kim Retrokimmer said...

ALRIGHT DR. DETROIT....REVEAL YOURSELF PLZ...I HAVE A MISSION FOR YOU.....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

addtoany