The first trailer for the upcoming documentary about late rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry has premiered online.
The trailer includes snippets of new interviews with a variety of music legends, including Alice Cooper, KISS‘ Gene Simmons, George Thorogood, Chic‘s Nile Rodgers, Aerosmith‘s Joe Perry and E Street Band members Steven Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren.
In the clip, Simmons declares, “Chuck Berry was Chuck Berry. The definition of Chuck Berry is: Chuck Berry.”
Commenting on Berry’s knack for writing a song, Cooper notes, “He could tell you a story in three minutes,” while Van Zandt points out that Chuck “was a storyteller. He brought the words.”
Alice adds that if Berry “couldn’t think of a word, he’d make one up.”
Regarding Berry’s trademark tune “Johnny B. Goode,” Simmons compares it to a movie, while Cooper describes it as “the blueprint for what rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to be.”
As for Berry’s musical talent, Thorogood calls him “the most important guitarist in rock history,” while Rodgers notes that Chuck “changed the guitar into more of a percussive instrument.
Later in the trailer, the subject shifts to Berry’s run-ins with the law. Van Zandt says with a laugh, “He started that whole hip-hop tradition back then, right? He was the first gangster.”
The trailer also features archival footage of Berry and the likes of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Little Richard and Bo Diddley. In addition, the clip features commentary from Berry’s wife Themetta, daughter Ingrid and son Charles Jr.
As previously reported, the Chuck Berry doc will have its world premiere at the 50th annual Nashville Film Festival, which takes place October 3-12. According to RollingStone.com, the premiere will be October 4.
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