October 16, 1986: Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll

The day Johnnie Johnson was Rediscovered

This blog from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame details October 16, 1986…the day Johnnie Johnson was rediscovered during the Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll concerts at the Fox Theater. Some of you were lucky enough to be there that night. It’s the turning point in my music documentary Johnnie Be Good, JJTheMovie.com.

Johnnie was driving a senior citizens bus to make a living and had been largely forgotten until Keith Richards insisted that JJ be part of the band for the Taylor Hackford-directed movie. In my film Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Steve Jordan, Hackford, film producer Stephanie Bennett, and bass player Joey Spampinato remember turbulent filmmaking process. For those of you who’ve been following my filmmaking journey, the film is done and a music supervisor is now negotiating licensing fees for music recordings, film clips, and other copyrighted material that showcases JJ’s amazing piano playing. Very soon we’ll be fundraising again with a digital download of “Johnny B. Goode” featuring Michael McDonald and David Sanborn, and there will also be a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo where you buy movie posters, photographs I shot of Johnnie, and artwork created just for the film.