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St. Louis, 1986. For Chuck Berry's 60th, Keith Richards assembles a pickup band of Robert Cray, Joey Spampinato, Eric Clapton, himself, and long-time Berry 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, Bruce Springstein, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, 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. Written by
On October, 18th 1986, on the sixtieth birthday of Chuck Berry, there was a concert at the Fox Theater in his hometown Saint Louis. This documentary highlights some of the best moments of this concert, with footages of Chuck Berry playing his famous songs with a unique band composed by Keith Richards, Johnnie Johnson, Bobby Keys and other great musicians and the participation of Linda Ronstadt, Julian Lennon, Robert Cray, Eric Clapton and Etta James among others famous guests. In this tribute, there are also many interviews and archive footages with Chuck Berry's parents and siblings, and artists like Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bruce Springsteen, Roy Orbinson, Keith Richards, The Everly Brothers, John Lennon, Eric Clapton among others. There are many compliments, praise and recognition of his magnificent work from the interviewees; however there are also many obscure moments that deconstruct the idol. For example, Bruce Springsteen tells about Chuck Berry's concern with money and no rehearsal with the unknown local pick up bands before his gigs without any respect to the audiences and fans. Keith Richards is extremely ambiguous, and tells about the free physical aggression he suffered from Chuck Berry; and playing out of the rehearsed tune. Further, I understood that some of his famous songs actually were composed by Johnnie Johnson, and the keys adapted by Chuck Berry to the guitar. He manipulates many questions, like for example for his wife, and never mentions that he went to jail for tax evasion. Therefore it is a wonderful documentary of Chuck Berry as a player and singer; but regarding his behavior out of stage, I would dare to write that he seems to have at least a weird and egocentric personality. Therefore better off would be watching the concert without the additional footages. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll"
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