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The Rolling Stones‘ Keith Richards and Guns N’ Roses‘ Slash are featured in a new Chuck Berry documentary special that premieres on PBS tonight at 8 p.m. ET as part of the network’s In Their Own Words series.
The show looks at the life and music of the complex and multifaceted rock ‘n’ roll pioneer through archival interviews with Berry himself, as well as new conversations with his widow, son and grandson, and his musical associates and admirers.
Besides Richards and Slash, the program features interviews with Robert Cray, Hootie & the Blowfish‘s Darius Rucker, drummer/producer Steve Jordan and filmmaker Taylor Hackford. Hackford directed Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll, the 1987 documentary focusing on Berry’s star-studded 60th birthday concerts held in St. Louis in 1986, for which Richards served as musical director.
In a preview clip of the episode that’s been posted on PBS.org, Richards recalls the hard time Berry, whom he famously considers his hero, gave him while they rehearsed for the birthday shows, noting that he felt he was up to the the task.
“‘I was made to do this job,’ [I thought.] That was one of my dreams, to be second guitar behind Chuck Berry,” Keith declares. “This movie gave me the possibility to do that. In the meantime, I’d been working with the biggest prima donna in the g**damn world. Any trick Chuck could pull, Mick [Jagger] has already done it.”
In another preview clip, Slash says of Berry, “He’ll always be considered the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
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