Guitars in Movies is our regular look at great guitar moments in movie history, those films which are lifted to another level just by the mere presence of some nimble fingered guitar playing. For this latest instalment the movie is Back To The Future starring Michael J Fox.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis, produced by Steven Spielberg and released in 1985 it tells the story of Marty McFly, played by Michael J Fox, who is accidentally sent back in time from 1985 to 1955. Whilst there Marty inadvertently interupts the course of history when his future mother starts to fall in love with him. The film centres on Marty’s efforts to try and get his parents-to-be to fall in love and thus preserve his existence in 1985. There is also the small matter of trying to find a way of getting back to 1985.
The great guitar moment comes on the night of the school dance, the historical occasion where Marty knows that his parents first kissed. However, because of an injury to the hand of the guitarist in the band hired to play the music for the dance, there will be no music and so his parents won’t dance and therefore kiss. Marty decides the only way to get his parents to kiss is if he steps in and plays the guitar. With his parents love having been sealed with that historical kiss Marty decides to play an encore of Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry which was not released until 1958 leading to a great scene where the band leader Marvin Berry phones his cousin Chuck telling him to listen to what is being played on stage!
The guitar scene itself is widely believed to have been played by Michael J Fox but the film’s music director Burns Howe hired Hollywood guitar coach and musician Paul Hanson to teach Michael J Fox to simulate playing all the parts so it would look realistic. Judge for yourself as to how successful Hanson was.
If you have never seen the film you can grab a copy here.
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