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Baker's Dozen

Mob Deep: Michael Imperioli's Favourite Music
Simon Price , August 5th, 2020 09:21

Actor, writer, producer and musician Michael Imperioli – best known for playing Christopher Moltisanti in The Sopranos – chooses his 13 favourite tracks, and discusses the use of music in the series. Simon Price listens in an unmarked van across the street.


Chuck Berry - 'Carol'
The first two songs, I heard when I was really young, from my father who was into '50s rock & roll and doo-wop, especially Elvis and Dion and stuff like that. But I remember hearing Chuck Berry's 'Johnny B Goode' as a really young kid, and just loving it.

His music, to me, is the beginning of rock. Little Richard also, and I could have easily chosen 'Lucille' because that's another one of my early rock & roll favourites. But I feel it's appropriate to start with Chuck Berry because he's really one of the first rock & roll artists. 'Carol' is a love song and he needs to learn how to dance to win Carol's heart and not lose her to another guy. It's very innocent and very romantic.

There's a documentary movie, you probably know it, Hail! Hail! Rock & Roll. Keith Richards is trying to learn 'Carol' to play along with Chuck Berry, and it's the source of much difficulty and conflict between the two of them. It's pretty interesting, then, when you see the final result of them playing it live in concert, but you've seen the rehearsals. So that song has a cool history to it.

You mention on the podcast that The Rolling Stones are Sopranos fans, and you've hung out with them...

I did I spent some time with Keith and Ronnie Wood in Toronto and in New York and we used one of Keith's songs, 'Thru And Thru' on The Sopranos, in a montage [the closing montage of Funhouse, the season two finale]. I went to a Rolling Stones show as a fan, and we wound up meeting through Keith's manager and became friends. One of the great moments of my life was hanging out with Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood in their hotel till the wee hours of the morning, talking about life and music and everything.