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Willie And The Poor Boys

Willie And The Poor Boys

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Willie And The Poor Boys  From Bill Wyman’s personal collection, a film on the super group, Willie and the Poor Boys.

Rock ‘N Roll Heaven For Those Who Love The ’50s

Willie And The Poor Boys  I’m probably biased for those early days of rock ‘n roll, but I still think you can’t beat those ’50 rockabilly songs done by Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Gene Vincent and the rest. It’s toe-tapping, feel-good music at its best.

Apparently, longtime Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman and a bunch of his friends agree. While Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were were having spats in the press back and forth in the 1980s and the group wasn’t active as it usually has been over the decades, Wyman got a group of people together to play this old-time music. The result is the short-lived “Willie And The Poor Boys,” and the music is fantastic.

This DVD wasn’t released until this century but it was filmed (and put out on VHS, I assume) back in the mid ’80s. The boys made a half-hour “video,” almost complete with ’50s-dressed young people jitterbugging while the group in this small hall rocked on. It was all for a good cause, raising money for multiple sclerosis. As Wyman explains in the behind-the-scenes extra, it also was to benefit a few of the down-and-out rockers of the time. The financially stable performers here donated their services, and happily so. They included fellow Stones members Ronnie Wood (playing saxophone!) and Charlie Watts of drums.

Ex-Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, along with Dire Straits saxophone player Mel Collins and a bunch of other great musicians make up this group, which obviously had a lot of fun doing this. In between several of the songs are a few very short comedy bits including one with Ringo Starr. The famous Beatles drummer plays a janitor sweeping up after the concert.

The only thing that disappointed me was that there were only eight songs and the whole movie-concert lasted 30 minutes. I looked this DVD up on Amazon and it’s listed there as 50-some minutes with 12 songs! It’s the only DVD made by this group, so what gives?

Even at a scant 30 minutes, the music – and dancing, complete with ’50s skirts, hairdos and bobby socks – here is so good I wouldn’t hesitate buying this. This DVD will make you feel good.


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