“BANG! The Bert Berns Story,” the documentary about “Twist and Shout” songwriter, producer and label pioneer Bert Berns and the music industry’s early entanglements with the mob, is headed to Apple Music in the fall. Brett Berns, the director and Bert Berns’ son, credits the platform with having “always been fair to the artist,” in announcing the exclusive pick-up.
Narrated by longtime Bruce Springsteen guitarist and “Sopranos” star and Steven Van Zandt, “Bang!” explores Berns’ close relationships with New York City wiseguys Carmine “Wassel” DeNoia and Tommy Eboli. The film features Van Morrison, Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, and many more.
As Variety wrote in April, “It was a long time coming, but after a book, a musical, and a 2016 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the story of Bert Berns — genius songwriter, skilled producer and record label honcho — was a documentary that simply needed to be made.”
A global offering by iTunes Movies is slated to hit after an exclusive stream on Apple Music. The film, which executive produced by Sid Ganis and co-directed with Bob Sarles, who also edited, was released by Abramorama for theatrical audiences during and after a North American film festival run in the spring.
Apple Music has been making some effort to establish itself as a destination for music docs. The platform’s current doc slate includes Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs’ “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story,” and “Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives.”
Said “BANG!” director Brett Berns: “This film was a journey of discovery — a labor of love for my siblings and I that brought us closer to the father we never knew. We had inspiring screenings at over 35 festivals and knew we had something very special. When Abramorama came on board with a vision to release the film theatrically, their efforts built an awareness that exceeded our most optimistic expectations.”