MEET MEMPHIS’s JERRY MCGILL, a lost rock’n’roll original and the subject of a new documentary that will chill you to the bone.
McGill was a singer-songwriter who signed to Sun Records in 1959 and released a solitary single on the legendary label in the form of rockabilly curio Lovestruck. He was also a perpetual felon wracking up over 90 arrests in his hometown of Memphis. Among the offences – assault, armed robbery and attempted murder.
In the ’70s he operated under the name Curtis Buck working and writing with Waylon Jennings and featuring in a terrifyingly memorable scene from William Eggleston’s document of hard-drinking, hard-living Memphians, Stranded In Canton. He also wrote songs for Carl Perkins and The Allman Brothers and cut tracks with that other Southern maverick Jim Dickinson. You can hear the ragged country of With Sabres In Our Hands here:
In 2009 he was released from prison in Florida and restarted a relationship with a former sweetheart, Joyce Rosic, after she managed to get in touch with him via the Boogie Woogie Flu blog. It was at this time that filmmaker Paul Duane tracked him down and began documenting the heavily armed McGill as he made a return to music, battled lung cancer and continued to indulge in some seriously unhinged behaviour.
It can all be seen in Duane’s film, Very Extremely Dangerous, which was produced by Robert Gordon (author of It Came From Memphis) and is due for release in October.
In the meantime, check out the trailer below: