Johnnie Be Good Update

Fifth Edit Almost Finished

The JOHNNIE BE GOOD project is entering an exciting phase. Editor Jon King and I are close to finishing the fifth edit, the rough cut that we start showing potential narrators and distribution companies that have shown an interest. The goal is to finish the current edit in January 2012.

That’s when things get really interesting. An actor with two Academy Awards has agreed to look at the rough cut, then decide if he’ll narrate. I’m excited by the opportunity and working hard to take advantage of it. The original JOHNNIE BE GOOD script was 160 pages and has now been edited to 105 pages. I probably need to cut another ten pages on the next edit and that’s going to be tough. Since beginning this project, I’ve assembled hundreds of photos of Johnnie Johnson including black and white photos of JJ at a recording session with Aerosmith at Joe Perry’s home recording studio. A couple of tracks from that session were included on Aerosmith’s “Honkin’ on Bobo” album. A lot of those photos were added to most recent edit.Tonight I worked on the list of credits that will appear at the end of the film. It’s the first time I did the math on the number of people interviewed in the film: 58! Those you on this list know many of the names, starting with Keith Richards and Eric Clapton. It’s been a really cool trip to get so many great artists to be part of this film project.

R.I.P. Hubert Sumlin

Was sad to hear guitarist Hubert Sumlin died December 4. On a remarkable trip to NYC a couple of years ago Sumlin came to my hotel for an interview about his 1957 recording session at Chess Records with Johnnie Johnson and Chuck Berry. You can hear Sumlin perform on “School Day” and “Deep Feeling”. The next day after interviewing Sumlin, I interviewed Keith Richards. Sumlin was a longtime collaborator with Howlin’ Wolf. His unique playing on such songs as “Wang Dang Doodle,” “Spoonful” and “Back Door Man” influenced generations of guitarists. Hubert Sumlin died of heart failure in New Jersey at the age of 80.Sumlin was a mainstay of the Chicago blues scene and was ranked number 43 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He was nominated for four Grammy awards and was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 2008.


I’m constantly amazed at the international reach of the internet. One of the Johnnie Johnson fans following the progress of the film is Pieter Coolen who lives in Belgium. He’s lobbying me to bring JOHNNIE BE GOOD to Belgium. Art Holliday/DirectorThe journey be good…….