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Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, & Van Morrison Appear In Bert Berns Documentary

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Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, and Van Morrison are among the many legends that appear in Bang! The Bert Berns Story, which is narrated by Steve Van Zandt. The doc closes tomorrow (May 2nd) at Manhattan’s IFC Center and starts a weeklong run on May 5th at L.A.’s Laemmle NoHo 7 in North Hollywood. On Wednesday (May 3rd), the film starts a weeklong run in Palm Springs, California’s Mary Pickford Theatre and in San Antonio, Texas’ Santikos Entertainment.

Bert Berns, who was staff producer for Atlantic before co-founding the legendary Bang! Records, wrote and/or co-wrote such timeless rock classics as “Twist And Shout,” “Hang On Sloopy,” “Tell Him,” “Cry To Me,” “Here Comes The Night,” “I Want Candy,” “Cry Baby,” and “Piece of My Heart,” among many others. He helped discover and sign Neil Diamond, and produced Van Morrison’s early masterpiece, “Brown Eyed Girl.”

Among the pop and rock royalty appearing in the film are Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Mike Stoller, Ronald Isley, Solomon Burke, Ben E. King, Cissy Houston, early Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, Jerry Ragovoy, among others, that help tell the story of the glory days of the Brill Building era mixed with Berns’ mob connections, and his personal race against time.

The film was directed by Bob Sarles and Berns’ son, Brett Berns, who admitted to us that at the start of the project over a decade ago, it seemed like only an uphill climb to reclaim his father’s legacy: “When we started out, nobody knew who he was, and really, nobody wanted to know. There were a few people, like really, sort of the musicologists might know who Bert was — and then, of course, y’know, Mick Jagger knew who Bert was — and, like, people like that knew. But, it was so difficult to get anyone to pay attention to our effort, to, like, get him recognized in some way, shape, or form, that that’s why we made the film. That’s why we had the book and the musical, and all these projects that have really led to the (Rock and Roll) Hall of Fame induction.”

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Photo Courtesy of Abramorama

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