Chuck Berry's 60th birthday concert film and doc "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll" to get first Blu-ray release
Written by Classic Rock 93.9 on August 14, 2019
Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll, the 1987 documentary about the star-studded 60th birthday concerts that The Rolling Stones‘ Keith Richards helped organize for his idol Chuck Berry, will be released on Blu-ray for the first time on November 19.
The film features footage of the birthday concerts, which took place October 16, 1986, at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. It also offers a profile of the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer’s life, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at rehearsals for the shows.
The concerts featured Berry performing with a house band led by Richards, which included Chuck’s longtime piano player Johnnie Johnson, Rolling Stones touring keyboardist Chuck Leavell and sax player Bobby Keys, NRBQ bassist Joey Spampinato and lauded drummer Steve Jordan.
Among the special guests at the shows: Eric Clapton, Linda Ronstadt, Etta James, Julian Lennon and Robert Cray.
The movie also includes interviews with and/or commentary from Berry, Richards, Bo Diddley, The Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Little Richard and Bruce Springsteen. There’s also archival footage of Chuck performing with John Lennon.
Among the film’s many highlights is a scene where Richards butts heads with a stubborn Berry as they try to get a guitar riff down for Chuck’s classic tune “Carol.”
Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll (Collector’s Edition), which also will be released on DVD, will offer several bonus features, including an introduction by director Taylor Hackford, 54 minutes of extra rehearsal footage, a making-of documentary, a trailer, a collection of classic remarks made by Berry and a segment capturing Chuck sharing reminiscences with The Band‘s Robbie Robertson.
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