Gijsbert Hanekroot/RedfernsMusicians around the world took time over the weekend to remember the late Chuck Berry. Rock’s first guitar hero, one of it’s all-time greatest songwriters and a man who inspired generations of musicians, died on Saturday at the age of 90.
The members of The Rolling Stones, the second-generation rock band most closely identified with Berry’s music, shared remembrances on the band’s website:
“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,” wrote Mick Jagger.
“One of my big lights has gone out!” wrote Keith Richards.
“So sad ~ with the passing of Chuck Berry comes the end of an era. He was one of the best and my inspiration, a true character indeed,” added Ronnie Wood.
Bruce Springsteen tweeted: “Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist and the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived,” adding, “This is a tremendous loss of a giant for the ages.”
Ringo Starr tweeted: “Just let me hear some of that rock ‘n’ roll music any old way you use it I am playing I’m talking about you. God bless Chuck Berry”
In a statement, former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty wrote, “Great songwriter, great guitar player, great singer. One of a kind. Thank you Mr. Chuck Berry for teaching me how it’s done. Hail, hail Rock and Roll! RIP my friend.”
Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, whose first top-10 hit, “Surfin’ USA,” cribbed Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen,” tweeted: “I am so sad to hear about Chuck Berry passing – a big inspiration! He will be missed by everyone who loved Rock ‘n Roll.”
Gregg Allman tweeted a picture of himself with Berry, writing, “The first, the best, a friend. Rest In Peace Chuck Berry.”
Guns ‘N Roses guitarist Slash posted a picture of Berry to Instagram, writing, “Heart broken to hear of the passing of Chuck Berry. He was undisputedly the king. A moment of silence is idefinitely n order. RIP”
Lenny Kravitz also posted an Instagram picture of Berry, writing, “Hail Hail Chuck Berry!!! None of us would have been here without you. Rock on brother!”
Huey Lewis tweeted: “Chuck Berry. Maybe the most important figure in all of rock and roll. His music and his influence will last forever.”
Alice Cooper issued a statement saying, “Everybody In Rock ‘N Roll, from The Beatles to Alice Cooper, owes Chuck Berry. We all cut our teeth on Chuck. I learned to write lyrics listening to Chuck Berry songs. In my opinion, he was the greatest rock lyricist of all time. What I loved about him is that if he couldn’t think of a word he’d just make one up. His songs include words like ‘botheration’, ‘cooleration.’ He was the single greatest influence in rock, and there will never, ever, ever be another Chuck Berry. He was a one of a kind!”
On Instagram, John Mayer wrote: “Legend. Architect. He built the tools that built the house. Rock on forever. #RIP Chuck Berry”
But it wasn’t just rock musicians who honored Berry.
Country superstar Keith Urban tweeted: “RIP Chuck Berry !!!! Thank you for the poetry, the passion and the potency! GO JOHNNY GO.”
Roots drummer Questlove wrote on Instagram: “Thou Shall Have No Other Rock Gods Before Him #ChuckBerry rip”
Many musicians who had gigs over the weekend played tributes to Berry.
Fan posted video on YouTube showed Bon Jovi playing “Johnny B. Goode” in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday night
Country superstar and guitarslinger extrodinaire Brad Paisley retweeted a fan-shot video of his tribute performance of “Johnny B. Goode” as well.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame issued a statement reading, “Rock and roll’s original sound has passed away at the age of 90. Berry was a gifted guitar player, an amazing live performer and a skilled songwriter who captured the essence of the 1950s teenage life. It’s fitting that he was the first person inducted inot the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”
And it wasn’t just musicians who took note of Berry’s passing.
Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted: “When I was 10 years old and I dreamed every night of moving to America, Chuck Berry played the soundtrack. He rocked the world. RIP.”
And former President Bill Clinton, who had Berry at his two inaugurations, issued a statement reading: “Hillary and I loved Chuck Berry for as long as we can remember. The man was inseparable from his music — both were utterly original and distinctly American. He made our feet move and our hearts more joyful. And along the way he changed our country and the history of popular music. Chuck played at both my inaugurations and at the White House for my 25th Georgetown reunion, and he never slowed down, which is why his legend grew every time he stepped on stage. His life was a treasure and a triumph, and he’ll never be forgotten. Our hearts go out to his family and his countless friends and fans.”
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