Hail hail rock n roll documentary
Johnny B. Bad: Chuck Berry and the Making of Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll by Stephanie BennettThirty years ago, Chuck Berry starred in the seminal music documentary Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock ’N’ Roll, which profiled the legend during a star-studded concert celebrating his sixtieth birthday. Now, on the heels of Berry’s death, comes the complete story behind one of America’s most enduring and embattled icons.
Compiled as an oral history by the film’s producer, Stephanie Bennett, Johnny B. Bad combines interviews from the film’s participants, including its music director― Keith Richards. These unique interviews and accounts paint a vivid and multifaceted picture of the artist. Berry was at once a witty, articulate genius, now widely considered the godfather of rock and roll; a shrewd businessman, who had no trouble endlessly renegotiating contracts and refusing to perform until additional cash was gathered up; and also a convicted criminal, who in addition to serving time in prison for transporting a minor across state lines for “immoral purposes” had also been accused of sexual assault and sued in civil court for installing cameras in the restroom of the Southern Air, a restaurant he owned in Wentzville, Missouri.
Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll Screening with Guests
Richards and Berry had worked together before. The film intersperses various interviews with Berry, his family, collaborators, peers and those influenced by him, along with lengthy rehearsal footage and plenty of songs from the main celebration itself. The interviews are illuminating, if not always flattering. Family members share small stories and anecdotes. Hackford gets Berry on camera to ask about his prison sentences, which Berry shuts down. But Hackford also gathered interviews that were enlightening and hilarious. Nothing about the film was smooth sailing.