Working as a roadie for a high decibel rock band, young Mickey Lagrange, fantasizes about someday playing his own songs up on stage. He also longs for the sexy lead singer and is jealous of the spotlight clamoring Guitarist. Desperate and frustrated Mickey is at his wits end as to a solution, until a neighbour supplies him with a synthesizer that creates music through pure thought.
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.
Vinegar Joe's second album was workmanlike, early-'70s mainstream British rock, though with more of a soul and rock & roll influence than the usual such band of the era, due to the one-two punch of lead vocalists Robert Palmer and Elkie Brooks. It's fair but not astounding stuff, Palmer and Brooks both singing together and taking individual leads of their own. The original material tends toward the commonplace good-time rock & roll vibe, though it gets a bit more interesting on Palmer's two original compositions, "Falling" (which clearly points toward the reggae-funk of his early solo career) and "Forgive Us" (which is a decent facsimile of rootsy southern Californian country-folk-rock). As for the three covers, it's doubtful anyone needed a version of Jerry Lee Lewis' classic "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On." But they showed better taste on Jimi Hendrix's "Angel" (Brooks' most impressive vocal on the record) and the obscure American folk-rock tune "Rock & Roll Gypsies," originally done by the Gypsy Trips and Hearts & Flowers in the 1960s.
Although the chaotic sessions that spawned this album have passed into rock & roll legend and the recording's very genesis (as an out-of-court settlement between John Lennon and an aggrieved publisher) has often caused it to be slighted by many of the singer's biographers, Rock 'n' Roll, in fact, stands as a peak in his post-Imagine catalog: an album that catches him with nothing to prove and no need to try…