Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Let the Good Times Roll

I can't believe I had never even heard of this fascinating documentary. In fact, I simply stumbled upon it after setting up something else to record on TCM. It is amazing. Amazing!

This movie came out at the height of the 50's nostalgia craze. Enough of Watergate. Enough of Vietnam. Enough of bra burning. Let's go back to the 50's!

The film wonderfully weaves together footage from the 50's with highlights and behind the scenes footage from an early 70's revival tour. The newer footage is priceless.

By the early 70's, these guys must have seemed like dinosaurs but, hell no! And the audiences knew they were seeing something special. Maybe seeing these guys in 1972 wasn't the same as seeing them in 1956 but it sure as hell was a lot better than seeing James Brown in '92 or Ray Charles in '97 like I did.

A few thoughts on the 70's footage:

- Chuck Berry is a dirty man.

- The Coasters were coasting. They didn't seem to care. The audience didn't either.

- Danny and the Juniors were washed up. I'm pretty sure Danny put the moves on any young thing wearing a skirt immediately following their set.

- How bout them Shirelles?

- Bill Haley reminded me of the middle aged Biff from Back to the Future.

- You'll die when Little Richard freaks out about the stage not being close enough to the people! The people! Later, he rips his shirt off and dives into the audience. Incredible.

- The Five Satins thanked God for letting them be so damn awesome.

- Bo Diddley!

- Chubby Checker continued to be grateful about how damn lucky he was to have a career.

- I love Fats Domino!

See this movie.

UPDATE:
Hot Tub Eric sent me this e-mail after reading this review. It reminded me of other things that I can't believe that I forgot to mention in my review.

"How great is that movie?! I can’t believe you didn’t mention BO grocery shopping and frying up chicken in an electric frying pan
backstage! By far, my favorite part. No personal assistant or chef – BO fries his own bird goddammit! Then he stuffs his face, throws on a shirt and goes on stage and KILLS IT!! LR was great as usual. Chubby was surprisingly good, but it think that’s because the band we’re playing out of their minds and totally doing their own thing. CHUCK slayed of course, but he’s lucky he didn’t have to follow DIDDLEY. Saying CHUCK is dirty doesn’t really do him justice. Certainly you know about his filthy ways?"

He then sent me a subsequent e-mail quoting of the lyrics from one of the Berry songs.

"“We did it in the kitchen, we did it in the hall, got something on my finger and wiped it on the wall” I was just listening to CB in the car this morning. Don’t trust anyone without some serious CB in their collection."

Directed by Robert Abel and Sid Levin
1973
TCM

4 comments:

youthlarge said...

stumbled upon? didn't i tell you about it and the other movie?

Listmaker said...

i was going to give you credit when i wrote up the other one. sorry, honey!

decaf said...

why hasn't tipper gore gone after chuck's albums? hey, remember tipper gore?

David said...

wow--I've never seen this movie, but weirdly I have seen that Bo Diddley fried chicken footage. Where would I have seen that? Youtube, probably.

Anyhow....
dn