"All right, guys, uh, listen. This is a blues riff in B, watch me for the changes, and try and keep up, okay?"

When asked for "another one", "something that really cooks", Marty McFly busts out "Johnny B Goode". He gets a bit carried away, and imitates signature moves by famous guitarists, such as Chuck Berry's duck walk and Eddie Van Halen's fretboard tapping, and of course playing the guitar behind his head like Jimi Hendrix.

Who are all the guitarists Marty imitates?

"It's an oldie where I come from."


According to this piece for UProxx, Michael J. Fox personally asked for the film's Choreographer, Brad Jeffries to help him emulate his own heroes; Eddie Van Halen, Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix and Angus Young

It was Fox who suggested which rock artists to emulate when Marty busts out the anachronistic guitar tricks that shock the teenagers of the 1950s. The script called for Marty to imitate Little Richard, Elvis, Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson. Writer-producer Bob Gale notes today that those musicians were referenced only as a guide. Fox chose to emulate his own guitar heroes – Eddie Van Halen, Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix and Angus Young – and Jeffries helped him get the moves right for each one.


After about three or four rehearsals with Jeffries, Fox had those rock star moves down (including Berry”s famed duckwalk, which Jeffries noted “is not easy”), and it was time to do the scene for the cameras at the church in Hollywood. One problem: the stage in that gym was much smaller than Jeffries and Fox expected. It took some adjusting to get the knee slide across the compact stage just right, but Fox pulled it off, giving fans a movie music moment that both thrills just as rock concerts do and brings on the laughter – Marty sliding across the tiny school stage with his Angus Young moves turned out to be another of the film”s golden comedy moments.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the iconic ‘Johnny B. Goode’ scene in ‘Back to the Future’

'Guitar Tapping' with Eddie Van Halen (also leaping)

'Duck Walking' with Chuck Berry

'Duck Walking' with Angus Young

'Guitar Spasming' with Angus Young

'Guitar Behind Head' with Jimi Hendrix

'Equipment Abuse' with Pete Townshend

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  • Great answer! Are you now off to update the wiki as well? :) – SQB Feb 1 '17 at 9:12
  • @SQB - Nah. You do it if you want to. Or just point a link here :-) – Valorum Feb 1 '17 at 10:45

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