Chuck Berry – the man who inspired The Beatles, The Stones and countless others since – would have turned 91 today (October 18). As the following quotes and tributes from some of the world’s most legendary musicians point out, we really do have Chuck Berry to thank for rock ‘n’ roll music.
by Nick Harris
"Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived." Twitter
"Chuck Berry sadly passed away over the weekend. He was one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest poets. He will be missed but remembered by everyone who ever loved rock ‘n’ roll."
"R I P Chuck Berry
i've been a fan my whole life since I was four years old,
All I can say is
You did your thing my man
"Chuck Berry was a true rock 'n' roll legend. His music changed the world. I'm honored to say I had the privilege of working with him."
"#chuckberry RIP.... you gave us so much and changed the landscape of Rock n Roll.. Thank you..you taught us all how to play guitar.."
"Chuck Berry basically started all this ... RIP"
8The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones Sean Zanni
"The Rolling Stones are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Chuck Berry," the band wrote in a statement. "He was a true pioneer of rock & roll and a massive influence on us. Chuck was not only a brilliant guitarist, singer and performer, but most importantly, he was a master craftsman as a songwriter. His songs will live forever."
"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."
“The Beatles did a lot of Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones did some of my stuff. That’s what it took to wake up the people in my own country. There was a time when a kid couldn’t bring that music into a father and mother’s house. ‘Don’t bring that nigger music in here’.”
1977 NME interview with Charles Shaar Murray
Brian Wilson David Wolff - Patrick
"I am so sad to hear about Chuck Berry passing - a big inspiration! He will be missed by everyone who loves Rock 'n Roll. Love & Mercy."
13La Toya Jackson
"So sorry to hear about Chuck Berry what a talented legend!"
“There’s only one true king of rock ‘n’ roll. His name is Chuck Berry.”
"Chuck Berry is “a musical scientist who discovered a cure for the blues.”
"If you want to play rock 'n' roll or any upbeat number ... you end up playing like Chuck."
1987 documentary film Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll
17Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis Edu Hawkins
"He whupped my butt ... He said he was the king of rock 'n' roll and I said I was. And he said he was and he proved he was. I don't argue with him no more." Lewis also recalled his mother saying, "Now you and Elvis are pretty good but you ain't Chuck Berry."
Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll
“All of us are footnotes to the words of Chuck Berry.”
Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll
Jeffrey R. Staab
"When I first heard Chuck Berry, I didn’t consider that he was black. I thought he was a hillbilly. Little did I know, he was a great poet, too. And there must have been some elitist power that had to get rid of all these guys, to strike down rock ‘n’ roll for what it was and what it represented – not least of all being a black-and-white thing."
"Heart broken to hear of the passing of Chuck Berry. He was undisputedly the king. A moment of silence is definitely in order. RIP"
"Chuck Berry merged blues & swing into the phenomenon of early rock’n’roll. In music, he cast one of the longest shadows. Thank You Chuck."
“Hail! Hail! Rock ’n’ Roll. I’m glad I had a chance to know, love and work with Chuck Berry during my life and career. Original pure rock ’n’ roll.”
"It started with Chuck Berry. He inspired us all. The 1st album I bought was Chuck's "Live at the Tivoli" and I was never the same."
"Hail Hail Chuck Berry!!! None of us would have been here without you. Rock on brother!"