Chuck Berry: 1926 - 2017
Rock ‘n’ Roll pioneer and legendary guitarist Chuck Berry, sadly passed away yesterday, Saturday March 18th, aged 90.
Missouri police said they responded to a medical emergency at a home at approximately 12.40pm local time. “Inside the home, first responders observed an unresponsive man and immediately administered lifesaving techniques. Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1.26pm.”
The department said Berry’s family has requested privacy “during this time of bereavement”.
Musicians of all genres and ages paid tribute to Berry. “Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived,” said Bruce Springsteen, who played with one of Berry’s pick-up bands before achieving his own fame.
“Thou Shall Have No Other Rock Gods Before Him,” the drummer and producer Questlove wrote. “His lyrics shone above others & threw a strange light on the American dream,” said Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger. “Chuck you were amazing [and] your music is engraved inside us forever.”
Berry was a hugely influential figure for generations of rock musicians. “If you had to give rock’n’roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry,” John Lennon famously said.
On Saturday, Ringo Starr wrote on Twitter: “RIP. And peace and love Chuck Berry Mr rock’n’roll music.”
When Berry was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986) Keith Richards, who spoke in his honor, said “It’s very difficult for me to talk about Chuck Berry ’cause I lifted every lick he ever played. This is the gentleman who started it all, as far as I’m concerned.”