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Chuck Berry Funeral Brings Messages From McCartney, Stones & More

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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.

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.”

The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then

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.

”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

    April 11, 2017 at 1:02 pm

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

  2. Les schofield

    April 11, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    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

    April 11, 2017 at 1:41 pm

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

  4. Dave Congdon

    April 11, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Was the best there ever was in the Rock and Roll era. RIP Chuck

  5. Roger Auger

    April 11, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    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!

  6. HP

    April 11, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    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.

  7. G. Arrow

    April 11, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    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!

  8. M. Naiman

    April 11, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    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.

  9. Dennis Fleming

    April 11, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    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

  10. Carol-Ann Perry

    April 11, 2017 at 9:16 pm

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

  11. Alessandro

    April 11, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    il numero uno nel Rock. ciao ciao Chuck Berry

  12. Eivind

    April 11, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    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.

  13. Jean harrison

    April 12, 2017 at 5:06 am


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