Friday, August 31, 2012

Taylor Hackford Talks About His Chuck Berry Movie

A good interview with "Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll!" director Taylor Hackford HERE.  Hackford also made the great documentary about Muhammad Ali, "When We Were Kings."   
"After I did When We Were Kings, I was offered the feature film Ali. I said, "I already did it." There's no movie star bigger than Muhhamad Ali. Same thing with Chuck Berry — nobody is going to be able to play him the way he does. Luckily, with Ray, Jamie Foxx did a brilliant job, so it can happen, but with Kings and Chuck Berry I was lucky enough to get the subjects in their prime."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It Was a Brown Eyed Handsome Man that Won the Game! Chuck Berry on Johngy's Beat (A World Series Replay)

John Wroblewski is a freelance writer who lives near Chicago.  I learned about him when Chuck Berry scholar and author Fred Rothwell sent me the link to John's blog Johngy's Beat and told me to check out the Cardinal's newest pitcher.  After that, had to track down the author and ask at least a few questions!

How did you wind up making baseball cards of people like Chuck Berry?

I saw others making cards of players who never had cards and I thought they were really cool.  Then I saw a picture of Trish Stratus (WWE wrestler) in a Maple Leafs jersey and the idea hit me to do Celebrity Jersey Cards, because that seemed to fit the concept of my site.  Then I started to look for other celebs wearing jerseys.  Some readers have also sent me pictures.

I use the design of the card for the year after the celebrity started his/her career.  I did not want the card design choice to be just random, so I use  the year after their debut, like the rookie cards of years ago.

Do you have any personal favorites?

I like the Trish, because it was my first, although I had help with it from Steve of  I like the Elton John card because it is wacky.  I also like athletes in jerseys from other sports.  Some cards I like just because they were a real challenge to do.

I see on your blog that you interview a lot of folks.  Tell us about that?

I contribute a weekly online piece for Global Traveler magazine.  I wrote a few celebrity-focused pieces there, but GT is more about travel than celebs.  Thus, was born.  My first real interview was former baseball player Rick Monday. That piece was read on Sporting News Radio.  It grew from there.  Interviewing celebs allows me a different experience than simply meeting them.

It has grown to me covering major conventions like Wizard World, Flashback Weekend  and Days of the Dead, along with some sports teams.  Lately, I have been covering a lot of independent wrestling companies in the Chicago area.  I just enjoy meeting all of the interesting people.

Got a favorite Chuck Berry song?  Ever see him live?

I have never seen Chuck Berry live.  As for my favorite song, he has so many.  He is such a great performer.  I would probably pick something old school, like Roll Over Beethoven.

Good Luck, Eagles

Did you catch the picture of Chuck in a Rams uniform?  Maybe it's time for a football card!

I have not seen that picture, but if you send it to me, I can promise I will make it.

(Editor's note: Readers came through with copies for John.  )


Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Stuff of Legends

"Sabato 22 febbraio 1997: è una bellissima giornata. Dopo vent'anni passati a consumare dischi di Chuck Berry cercando di capire il suo stile, mi ritrovo quasi per caso sul palco del casinò di Campione d'Italia con la mia vecchia chitarra acustica Silvertone e sto facendo il soundcheck al suo posto. Lui non lo sa. A poche decine di metri, al piano sottostante, sta passando un pigro pomeriggio ad i
nfilare monete nella slot machine. Intanto cerco di dare una mano al gruppo milanese dei Cherry Pie, i cui componenti la sera prima a Milano hanno avuto i sudori freddi a cercare di accompagnare la leggenda nera: niente prove, niente scaletta dei brani, niente tonalità. Tutto improvvisato..."  Carmelo Genovese.

(My first priority is to get the book and practice my bad Italian.  But until then, I (and YOU) can read more about that night HERE)

(Spoiler Alert.  After filling in at the soundcheck for Chuck Berry while Chuck plunked coins into the slots, Carmelo found himself backstage, jamming with his hero.  Dio mio!) 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ziggy Plays Chuck

When I was a teenager I was too busy listening to Chuck Berry to know much about what contemporary musicians were doing. Turns out, they were playing Chuck Berry songs.  My 18 year old daughter just brought in a Davide Bowie album she bought for a dollar after she heard this version of "Almost Grown."

The album she bought had "Around and Around."