Stones lead tributes to Chuck Berry, ‘the rock’n’roll pioneer’
THE Rolling Stones have paid tribute to rock’n’roll star Chuck Berry, who died on Saturday aged 90.
The band said they were ‘deeply saddened’ by the news, and described him as ‘a true pioneer of rock’n’roll and a massive influence’.
Sir Mick Jagger tweeted: ‘I am so sad to hear of Chuck Berry’s passing. I want to thank him for all the inspirational music he gave to us.
‘He lit up our teenage years and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers. His lyrics shone above others and threw a strange light on the American dream. Chuck you were amazing and your music is engraved inside us forever.’
Keith Richards wrote: ‘One of my big lights has gone out.’
Ronnie Wood said the guitarist’s death marked the ‘end of an era’, adding: ‘He was one of the best and my inspiration, a true character indeed.’
Other stars also paid their respects to the writer of songs such as Johnny B. Goode, Roll Over Beethoven and No Particular Place To Go.
The Kinks’ frontman, Sir Ray Davies, said Berry inspired him to write and perform, adding: ‘He is one of America’s great poets.’
Bruce Springsteen said: ‘Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock’n’ roll writer who ever lived.’
Rod Stewart said: ‘You can hear his influence in every rock and roll band from my generation on.’
Berry was found unreponsive at his home near St Louis, Missouri. Paramedics tried ‘lifesaving techniques’ but he could not be revived.
He leaves wife Themetta and four children. Born in St Louis in 1926, Berry wanted to emulate musical heroes including Nat King Cole and Muddy Waters.
He was known for his energetic stage act and his one-legged hop called the ‘duck walk’. In 1984, he was given a Grammy for lifetime achievement. But his career had its ups and downs.
He was jailed in 1944 for armed robbery, then again in 1962 for transporting a 14-year-old girl across a state line for ‘immoral purposes’, and again for tax fraud in 1979.
In 1994, he paid £1.5million to 59 women who accused him of filming them in the toilets of his restaurant.
Author: Dominic Yeatman