Chuck Berry’s innovative guitar licks inspired generations of rock pioneers, from the mod scene to the punk rockers.
Berry’s influence was celebrated on his 60th birthday, which was attended by some of rock’s heaviest hitters. Eric Clapton, Etta James, Keith Richards, Julian Lennon, and Linda Ronstadt were all in attendance and performing.
This epic party was immortalized in the 1987 film Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll. The film was directed by Academy Award winner Taylor Hackford, and features a slim and spry Chuck Berry strutting across the stage, despite his old age. Despite the celebrity status of Berry’s backing band, all songs performed were from Berry’s reportoire, with the perhaps more famous (at the date of release taking a back seat to the old rock and roller.
Besides footage of the epic jam, the movie contained interview clips and video appearances by the likes of John Lennon and Bo Diddley. While only making $719,323 in the box office, Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll is a must-watch for any Chuck Berry fanatic.
This film truly illustrates the scope of Berry’s influence, as guitar greats like Clapton and pop stars like Linda Ronstadt take a backseat to the father of Rock, his prowess and musical ingenuity is undeniable
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