Chuck Berry Documentary to Premiere in Nashville
The life of rock 'n' roll pioneer Chuck Berry, who died in 2017, will be the subject of a new documentary. Jon Brewer's Chuck Berry is set to premiere Oct. 4 during the Nashville Film Festival.
The trailer features devotees like Paul McCartney, Gene Simmons, Alice Cooper and Joe Perry praising Berry as a songwriter and guitarist. It includes some footage from the 1986 movie Hail! Hail! Rock 'N' Roll, including the moment when Keith Richards says Berry has given him "more headaches than Mick Jagger."
You can watch the trailer, which the distributor has prevented from being embedded, at YouTube.
Brewer's film, which was announced in January 2018, also includes the first-ever interview with Berry's widow, Thelmetta, whom he was married to for 68 years. There are also interviews with his children and others who were close to Berry.
“The family members really gave a profound insight into the man behind the music,” Brewer told Rolling Stone. “We also talk to his lawyer about the truth behind some of these charges levied against Berry … and that’s a film in itself.”
The director hopes to change the perception of Berry, especially how he conducted business. It's well documented that he always demanded to be paid in cash before he performed.
"Although Berry was widely known for his steely and calculated approach to business and finance, there was a damn good reason, which emanated from a history of being cheated by producers and promoters — but only once," Brewer explained. "He used to say, ‘Never let the same dog bite you twice,’ so he made sure he was paid before going onstage, and people always talk about how hard he was in this regard, but rarely do they discuss the actual reasons."
“Chuck Berry is an icon who uniquely combined his genius, style and attitude to inspire, diversify and excite the world while redefining modern popular music," the Nashville Film Festival's Jason Padgitt said in a statement. "In that spirit, we are thrilled to host the world premiere of Chuck Berry during the Nashville Film Festival’s 50th anniversary in Music City.”