Chuck Berry RIP

Chuck Berry, whose rollicking songs, springy guitar riffs and onstage duck walk defined rock & roll during its early years and for decades to come, died on Saturday. The St. Charles County Police Department confirmed the news on Facebook. Berry was 90 years old.
“St. Charles County police responded to a medical emergency on Buckner Road at approximately 12:40 p.m. today (Saturday, March 18),” the Facebook post reads. “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 1:26 p.m.” It went on to confirm that the man was Berry and added that his family was requesting privacy at this time.
While the exact cause of death is currently unknown, Berry’s son, Charles Jr., recently told Rolling Stone that he had suffered a bout of pneumonia. “Now what I can say is he’s a 90-year-old man,” he said. “And like most 90-year-old men, he has good days and he has bad days. In the not too distant past, he had a bout with pneumonia. He’s recovering, but it’s a much slower process for him to recover.”
Tributes to the musician from admirers came immediately. “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.”
“Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock & roll writer who ever lived,” Bruce Springsteen wrote on Twitter, while Brian Wilson wrote, “I am so sad to hear about Chuck Berry passing – a big inspiration! He will be missed by everyone who loves Rock & Roll. Love & Mercy.” Kiss’ Paul Stanley called Berry ” a cornerstone of all that is, was and will be Rock and Roll,” with Lenny Kravitz noting that “none of us would have been here without you.”
Starting with his first hit, 1955’s “Maybellene,” Berry penned a collection of songs that, in both groove and teen-life mindset, became essential parts of the rock canon: “Roll Over, Beethoven,” “Rock & Roll Music,” and especially “Johnny B. Goode” were witty, zesty odes to the then-new art form – songs so key to the music that they had to be mastered by every fledgling guitarist or band who followed Berry. As teenagers, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger first bonded over their love of Berry’s music, and over the last five decades Berry’s songs have been covered by an astounding array of artists: from the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, the Kinks, the Doors and the Grateful Dead to James Taylor, Peter Tosh, Judas Priest, Dwight Yoakam, Phish, and Sex Pistols. As Richards said when inducting Berry into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, “I’ve stolen every lick he ever played.”

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