Following an unsatisfying three-year stint at Mercury Records, Chuck Berry returned home to Chess in 1969, just like Phil Chess predicted. Heading home didn’t necessarily mean retreating, as the four-disc Have Mercy: His Complete Chess Recordings 1969-1974 illustrates. During his time at Mercury, Chuck followed the kids wherever they went, aligning himself with the psychedelic ‘60s in a way none of his peers did. This shift is immediately apparent on “Tulane,” the very first song he cut upon his return to Chess. An ode to a couple of kids who dealt dope underneath the counter of a novelty shop, “Tulane” puts Chuck on the side of the counterculture, and over the next five years, he never strayed back to the other side of the fence, often singing about getting stoned, dabbling with a wah-wah pedal, rhapsodizing about rock festivals, cheerfully telling smutty jokes.
In the 1950s, during the explosive birth of rock & roll as we know it, Chuck Berry was the man – lean and mean, with self-penned hits like "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Johnny B. Goode" motorvating his fast-lane machine. In 1986, in honor of Berry's sixtieth birthday, a concert was assembled at St. Louis' Fox Theatre – the very place where Berry had been turned away as a boy during segregation, and blocks from the courthouse where, as Berry says, "my forefathers were sold." In front of a ready-to-riot crowd, the concert brilliantly captures Berry's unflagging power as a guitar virtuoso (as well as his audacity in literally duckwalking circles around guest Linda Ronstadt). But what makes this a great film is what happens (on the road, in rehearsals and during interviews) leading up to the concert: Keith Richards, musical director of the celebration, nearly driven to tears by Berry's ball-breaking insistence that Richards bend a note just right; Jerry Lee Lewis' admission that his own mother told him Berry was the true king of rock & roll; a still-gobsmacked Eric Clapton confessing, "I didn't know about black men until Chuck Berry." Fascinating too is watching Berry handle his own business – traveling without backing band or entourage, demanding to be paid what he's worth – thus proving he also pioneered rock & roll's potent DIY ethic. An entertaining document of an original rock & roll immortal, Hail! Hail! is a perfect tribute to a homegrown American genius.
Réalisé par Taylor Hackford
Avec Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Etta James, Julian Lennon, Linda Ronstadt, Bo Diddley, Don Everly, Phil Everly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Roy Orbison, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Johnny Johnston.
This superb DVD will teach you five tracks from this rock and roll pioneer and influence on musicians worldwide… learn every riff and guitar solo note for note! Steve Trovato is best known as a world class country guitarist, but is equally proficient in a wide range of popular Guitar styles. He has written a number of bestselling Guitar tuition books, and maintains a full time position in the Guitar Department at the University of Southern California.