‘Very Extremely Dangerously’ documentary chronicles the fascinating life of Jerry McGill

Very Extremely‘Very Extremely Dangerously’
(Fat Possum)
4 stars out of 5

If you were to write a novel or screenplay with a character like Jerry McGill, you’d probably have a hard time finding someone to buy it. Not because McGill’s life wasn’t fascinating — because it most certainly was — but because some of his exploits and experiences stretch the boundaries of believability.

DVD00892_4DGP_25070Documentarians Paul Duane and Robert Gordon chronicle McGill’s life and final months in the fascinating “Very Extremely Dangerous.” McGill was a violent dope fiend, con artist, burglar, bank robber, FBI fugitive … and a what-might-have-been singer/songwriter who also served as a co-songwriter, rhythm guitarist, tour manager and running buddy for Waylon Jennings in the 1970s.

“Johnny Cash ain’t never been to prison in his life,” says McGill, who died May 13, 2013, of lung and kidney failure at the age of 73. “He ain’t no criminal. Neither was Waylon. And they called ‘em outlaws. I’m an outlaw!”

Though McGill recorded just one single for Sun Record in 1959 (“Lovestruck”), he made a tremendous impact on the Memphis music scene. This compelling DVD/CD features the film and a CD that includes McGill’s “lost” album and the movie score.

It’s a brutally honest portrait of a deeply, deeply flawed man. McGill talks candidly about past arrests, illegally purchases a shotgun, contemplates both suicide and murder and ultimate comes out on the other side of cancer surgery and reconciles with the girlfriend he tried to strangle. Sometimes the truth really is stranger than fiction. (Jeffrey Sisk)


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