By MIKEL TOOMBS
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” Jimmy Haslip said in 1989.
You don’t remember that? OK, so my recollection might be a bit hazy, but surely the event commemorated in “Rockin’ the Wall: 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall” explains the continued presence of such diverse musicians as Haslip (Yellowjackets), David Paich (Toto), Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot), Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge) and Robby Krieger (The Doors), who appear in said documentary.
No? Anyone have a better explanation?
Anyway, I apparently, as Sam Cooke once told me, don’t know much about history. Fortunately, “Rockin’ the Wall” is on a film tour that includes such educational venues as, appropriately, West Liberty University (Wheeling, W.Va.), Seton High School (Mesa, Ariz.) and, on Nov. 4, the University of Washington, Tacoma. (That’s also the day the rockumentary will be released on DVD.)
Accompanying the movie will be filmmaker Larry Schweikart, a “Fox and Friends” regular whose band once opened for Mother‘s Finest. Schweikart based “Rockin’ the Wall,” co-directed by Marc Leif, on his book “Seven Events That Made America America.” (Say, isn’t Berlin in Europe somewhere?)
The film “shows how music became a liberating force behind the Iron Curtain” and includes remakes of such inspiring ‘60s and ‘70s fare as “Ball of Confusion” and “People Got to Be Free.” And speaking of confusion, also “Train Kept a-Rollin’,” a hit for Aerosmith, to be sure, but actually a double-entendre ‘50s song (the Johnny Burnette Rock & Roll Trio version is classic) that might inspire listeners to do, well, other things than tear down a wall.
Get the details about the “Rockin’ the Wall” screening Nov. 4 from 7-9 p.m. here.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Mikel Toombs is a frequent contributor to GeneStout.com. Read his recent post on Sleater-Kinney’s new album here.)