Thursday, June 22, 2006

The dark side of Chuck Berry

When I was in Vegas recently I had the opportunity to stop by the CineVegas Film Festival for a screening of Taylor Hackford's documentary HAIL, HAIL ROCK AND ROLL which takes the viewer through the rehearsals and resulting concerts held for Chuck Berry's 60th birthday twenty years ago.

While I had seen some of the performance footage over the years I'd never seen the actual documentary itself, which was long out of print. At the screening, Hackford introduced the film and mentioned an upcoming special edition DVD release that would provide another five hours plus of behind-the-scenes footage of the process.

The documentary is a great watch as is, filled with hysterical and poignant observations about race, music and more from the likes of Berry (who comes off as devilish but smarter than I ever imagined), Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. But this article – and Hackford's talk – were all I needed to get on line for the deluxe set.

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