Tag Archives: The Rolling Stones

Chuck Berry Takes Keith Richards Back to School

The beautiful, electrifying tension that can throw up moments of brilliance…

Via Open Culture

“The purpose of Taylor Hackford’s 1987 film Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll was to document two concerts held at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis to celebrate Chuck Berry’s 60 birthday, and that it does, giving audiences loads of concert footage. Berry plays the hits, backed by an all-star band of legendary bluesmen, R&B singers, and rock guitarists, assembled and directed by president of the Chuck Berry fan club, Keith Richards: There’s Bobby Keys and Chuck Leavell, Robert Cray and Eric Clapton, Etta James and Linda Ronstadt. And that’s not to mention the “talking head” appearances from people like Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Little Richard, and Bruce Springsteen. In the pantheon of rock-docs, it’s up there with Last Waltz. The live takes are electrifying—the band’s pistons pound as they struggle to keep up with Berry. If the man had slowed down any in his sixth decade, it’s little wonder he had trouble holding onto backing bands in his youth. Watch him go in the 1958 clip below.

But there’s another reason Berry burned through musicians. He is not an easy man to work with (nor, I would think, for). Brilliant live performances abound in Hackford’s film, but its principle charm is the rehearsal footage, where Berry berates and bewilders his musicians–and sometimes, like he does above to Richards, takes them to rock ‘n’ roll school. In the clip above, Richards, Berry, and band rehearse “Carol,” but it takes them a good while to get going. Richards tries to play bandleader and, thinking he’s doing Chuck a favor—or not wanting to lose the spotlight—suggests that Berry play rhythm while he plays the lead. Berry agrees at first. They bicker and look daggers at each other as Richards spoils a bend that only Chuck can play to his own satisfaction. Finally he dives in and takes over. Why not? It is his song. Richards falls in line, takes the rhythm part, but looks a little sullen as Berry outshines him. It’s almost an oedipal struggle. But the old rock forefather isn’t about to roll over and let the Brit take over.”


Sandie Shaw – Sympathy For The Devil

It’s far, far better than you think it will be. A brilliant gem…

Jumpin’ Jack Flash

The Rolling Stones – Factory Girl

Sandwiches by Bob Peck

(via McSweeney’s)

AC/DC: Beer-battered kangaroo sausage, sliced hard-boiled egg, low-calorie port cheese, Dutch crunch.

Black Sabbath: Ham, stilton, LSD mustard, milled wheat bread.

Thin Lizzy: Chopped sausage, mincemeat, Jameson-shiitake reduction, soda bread.

The Beatles: Beef, ham, chicken, lamb, fondue sauce, dinner roll.

Wings: Sliced vegan haggis, wilted arugula, aged soy cheddar, rice bread.

Led Zeppelin: Arum sandwich with hummus, lettuce, 22 thin-sliced deli meats; side of Colman’s mustard.

Bob Dylan: Scrapple, melted pepper jack, hemp-seed garlic bread.

The Pogues: Gin-fed lamb, whiskey-marinated turkey, beer-braised pork shoulder, mustard, soda bread.

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Junior Wells – Hoodo Man Blues

“Now I buzzed your bell this morning / You had your elevator running slow / I buzzed your bell, little woman / To take me on the third floor”

Junior Wells is one of greatest blues vocalists and harmonica players and an icon of Chicago blues. Like many of the greats he drew influence from Sonny Boy Williamson. Wells recorded with, among others, Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones and the great Buddy Guy. He died in 1998.

This is Wells and Guy performing Hoodo Man Blues. It’s  a little out of sync, but who cares?