By Brandon Castillo

Gary Bryan recently spoke with Director Brett Berns who is currently promoting BANG! The Bert Berns Story, featuring Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Van Morrison and others, the film is narrated by Steven Van Zandt.

Listen the full  interview HERE

Here’s The Film’s Trailer: HERE

brett berns story 2 Gary Bryan Interviews Director Brett Berns

Fro Website & Screening Schedule:

The Los Angeles run for the film is May 5 – May 11 at Laemmle No Hollywood.


Music meets the Mob in this biographical documentary, narrated by Stevie Van Zandt, about the life and career of Bert Berns, the most important songwriter and record producer from the sixties that you never heard of. His hits include Twist and Shout, Hang On Sloopy, Brown Eyed Girl, Here Comes The Night and Piece Of My Heart. He helped launch the careers of Van Morrison and Neil Diamond and produced some of the greatest soul music ever made. Filmmaker Brett Berns brings his late father’s story to the screen through interviews with those who knew him best and rare performance footage. Included in the film are interviews with Ronald Isley, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, Van Morrison, Keith Richards and Paul McCartney.


I made BANG! THE BERT BERNS STORY because this extraordinary untold story needed to be told by the people who worked alongside my father as he created his vast and unique body work. Bert Berns was one of the greatest music men of the twentieth century, yet he was also the most obscure. His death at a young age, combined with the neglect of powerful figures intent on burying his legacy, caused him to virtually disappear from the history of rock and roll. It thus became my life’s ambition to champion my father.

I was only two years old when my dad died in 1967. Knowing that his rheumatic heart would take his life, he would tell my mother, “my children will know me through my music.” In tandem with my sister Cassandra, I set out to learn the meaning of this riddle and what we discovered was a revelation so great that it called for historical revision. For buried beneath the sands of time was a unique canon of music and a story greater than fiction.

My greatest personal realization was that only through the telling of his dramatic life story would my father be recognized for his part in our musical history. He had been so utterly forgotten that only a multi media barrage would make people take notice of this lost icon. Leading the way was Joel Selvin’s epic biography Here Comes The Night, followed by the hit Broadway bound musical Piece of My Heart. Now BANG! THE BERT BERNS STORY completes the trilogy.

I began interviewing subjects for the film nearly a decade ago. Being a first time filmmaker, I partnered with seasoned veterans and spared no expense on production. I personally conducted every interview and learned the fundamentals of editing. One door opened the next, and the greatest legends of rock and roll fell into the project along with a number of characters never before seen on film.

It wasn’t until world class editor and director Bob Sarles joined the project that the film truly took flight. A brilliant documentary filmmaker, Sarles reshaped the film, brought his best people on board to conduct B roll and re creation shoots, orchestrated animations and graphics, and used Joel Selvin’s biography as the bedrock for the film’s narration. Legendary musician and actor Stevie Van Zandt’s narration brings the voice of Bert Berns into the film.

What began as a passion project designed to introduce the world to Bert Berns has evolved into both an important historical document and an inspirational example of how to live life with courage and create art with passion, love and collaboration. With my father entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, my greatest ambition is to share BANG! THE BERT BERNS STORY with the world.


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