DON'T KNOCK THE ROCK: Bang! The Bert Berns Story

Q&A w/ the filmmakers moderated by Michael Des Barres

Music meets the Mob in this biographical documentary narrated by Steven Van Zandt. You may have never heard of Bert Berns, but you know the enduring songs he has written and produced: “Twist & Shout”, “Cry to Me”, “Tell Him”, “Piece of My Heart”, “Cry Baby”, “Hang On Sloopy”, “I Want Candy”, “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love”. Berns sessions made legends of Solomon Burke, The Isley Brothers, The Drifters, Ben E. King, Wilson Pickett, Van Morrison, and Neil Diamond, and his songs became chart-topping covers for the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Animals and Janis Joplin. His premature death at 38 cut short a seven-year streak of hits, rooted in his early Brill Building and 1650 Broadway days, through his tenure at Atlantic Records to the formation and success of his own labels Bang Records and Shout Records.

The documentary film BANG! The Bert Berns Story, which had its highly acclaimed World Premiere at SXSW, beats a peripatetic pace through the history of 60s R&B-fueled rock as driven by the man who propelled the most emotive, dynamic and sublime soundtrack of the era. Together with his co-director Bob Sarles, filmmaker Brett Berns brings his late father’s story to the screen with interviews with those who knew him best and rare performance footage. Included in the film are interviews with Cissy Houston, Ronald Isley, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, Van Morrison, Keith Richards and Paul McCartney.

Dir. Brett Berns & Bob Sarles, 2016, DCP, 94 min.

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