Chuck Berry Funeral Brings Messages From McCartney, Stones & More

April 10, 2017

The funeral of rock 'n' roll pioneer Chuck Berry, which took place yesterday (9), brought messages of admiration from the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Little Richard and former President Bill Clinton. There were personal attendances by Gene Simmons of Kiss and Marshall Chess, son of Leonard, co-founder of Chess Records for whom Berry recorded.

The singer-guitarist-writer, who died on 18 March of natural causes at the age of 90, was remembered in a four-hour church service in his home town of St. Louis, before his family departed for a local burial. Simmons made impromptu comments, while local bluesman Billy Peek, who knew and worked with the rock 'n' roller for decades, played 'Johnny B. Goode.'

Berry's red Gibson guitar rested on the inner lining of his coffin, as he was laid out in a glittery purple shirt, white jacket and the sea captain's hat that had been his trademark in recent times. The ceremony took place at the Pageant music hall, only three miles from where he was born.

Stones flowers

In McCartney's letter to the man that The Beatles covered and admired in their early days, and continued to praise, he said: “As you know, Chuck was a huge influence on me and my companions.” The Stones sent a white floral bouquet in the shape of a guitar, for which the accompanying card said: “Thanks for the inspiration.”

Simmons remarked: ''Without Chuck Berry I wouldn't be here and everything that came, that became this huge thing called rock 'n' roll started with a guy who just wanted to make people feel good and forget about the traffic jams of the world and everything.

Gene Simmons

''He was breaking down barriers that no one suspected. Chuck, he changed more little white boys' and white girls' lives than all the politicians and their talk. Maybe Chuck said it best: 'Roll over Beethoven, tell Tchaikovsky the news.' Buckle your knees, bow your head, the great Chuck Berry is passing by.''

The United States Representative Lacy Clay read a statement from Clinton which stated that Berry “Drew from many different traditions, yet his music was innovative in spirit, and he spoke of the joy, hopes, and dreams we all have in common.”

Click here to explore our Chuck Berry Artist Page

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  1. Mick

    To quote Bruce Springsteen:
    “I’ve never see a Coffee Coloured Caddilac, but I exactly what one looks like”

  2. Les schofield

    Chuck’s music legacy will be there for all future fan’s to discover just as i did sixty years ago, it will go on because it’s only rock n roll but we like it!

  3. Patrick mcguire

    First heard him around 1956′ ,and I never forgotten what I heard ,I thought he was great, no other way to describe him

  4. Roger Auger

    The man is giggin’ in heaven. Can you Imagine the Lineup? Freddy Mercury, John Lennon, Buddy Holly! All the greats who went before him! Man what a super Uber Gig!

  5. HP

    Why wasn’t Keith Richards at the funeral, he was an hour away???
    What an ugly bouquet of flowers the Stones sent, disgusting show of respect.

  6. G. Arrow

    Kiss…boy! There’s a tribute Chuck Berry could do without. Simmons was only there to get his scary face in the news again and try to associate himself with one of the greatest, which he and his stinking makeup boys will never be considered, except possibly by little boys who liked The Power Rangers and The Archies. Did he try to sell the family a Kiss coffin? What an asshole!

  7. M. Naiman

    G.Arrow–how right you are re:Simmons a real publicity whore. One would think that Keith Richards would have been in attendance..without Chuck there would be no Keef.

  8. Dennis Fleming

    Chuck Berry was the genius who introduced white american kids to the world of Blues and RnB. The most important figure in American Pop music right behind “Satchmo”……One of the all time great musical inovators. Changed recorded music on the level of Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis. One of the most important pieces of the puzzle of American Culture and Racial relationships……Irreplacable unassailable undeniably th “King” and major inventor of Rock and Roll. A poet a virtuoso an activist through his art and his example. We (I) will miss him like no other, for what he created what he gave and what he represents

  9. Carol-Ann Perry

    Chuck is now in Rock ‘N” Roll Heaven playing all those great songs. R.I.P. CHUCKSTER. YOU WERE THE BEST.

  10. Eivind

    You May not like Gene Simmons, and you might not like Kiss, but believe this: Gene Simmons is a huge music fan, and a very knowledgeable one. I found his spech to refect that. Sure he’s a attention whore, and some of the stuff He does or say makes me cringe. He’s speech at the funeral service did not. Quite the oposite actually.

  11. Jean harrison


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