Many of rock ’n’ roll’s greatest guitarists list Chuck Berry as one of their influences. As do many other musicians.
Keith Richards famously said he lifted all of Berry’s licks.
John Lennon said: “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry.’”
Here are some of the reactions that some of the best musicians had when they heard Berry had died Saturday at the age of 90.
Mick Jagger, whose Rolling Stones drew from Berry’s guitar playing and songwriting, tweeted: “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 & threw a strange light on the American dream. Chuck you were amazing&your music is engraved inside us forever.”
On Instagram, guitarist Slash called Berry the king of rock and roll.
“Heart broken to hear of the passing of Chuck Berry. He was undisputedly the king. A moment of silence is idefinitely n order. RIP.”
And Lenny Kravitz acclaimed Berry as the figure who made rock and roll possible.
“Hail Hail Chuck Berry!!! None of us would have been here without you. Rock on brother!” he wrote on Instagram.
Rod Stewart noted on Twitter that he would honor Berry during a concert Saturday night and wrote, “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.”
Melissa Etheridge used lyrics from one of Berry’s hits.
“So sad to say goodbye to #ChuckBerry. ‘Roll over Beethoven tell Tchaikovsky the news…’ #RockAndRoll,” she tweeted.
Even amateur musicians, like a saxophone-playing former president, weighed in.
“Chuck Berry’s life was a treasure and a triumph, and he’ll never be forgotten,” President Bill Clinton tweeted.
Michael Jackson’s sister La Toya posted a photograph of her brother and the famed guitarist.
“So sorry to hear about Chuck Berry what a #talented #legend! We all had such a fun night! #guitarist #love #MJ”
Guitarist Joe Bonamassa appeared to be at a loss for words, writing: “Wow… Chuck Berry … Rest In Peace. Just wow…”
Berry died at a St. Louis-area home, according to the St. Charles County Police Department.