KISS's Gene Simmons Delivers Emotional Tribute To Chuck Berry

People who played and worked with Berry as he built a career on hit songs such as "Johnny B. Goode" spoke emotionally about the 90-year-old who died last month. "Just by grabbing a hold of them on the outside and the inside and changing their lives".

Gene Simmons of Kiss delivered a tearful eulogy for Chuck Berry yesterday.

"Although I never heard Chuck talk about it in his lyrics, or in interviews, or on TV, he was breaking down barriers that nobody expected", Simmons said to applause. Shaffer told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Berry inspired everyone who plays rock "n" roll.

Chuck Berry fans have been paying their final respects to the music legend who died in March at the age of 90.

Berry, laid out in a vintage shirt of purple glitter, with a white jacket and sea-captains hat, had his red Gibson guitar rested on the lining of the coffin lid.

The venue was also filled with flower arrangements including one in the shape of a guitar sent by the Rolling Stones - one of the many bands on whom the singer was an influence.

"Thanks for the inspiration", the card read. Simmons drew some stark comparisons between Berry and the performers he was up against on TV and the radio, including Pat Boone, who Simmons described as "white bread...[not] spicy, it was bland food". In the letter Clinton called Berry "one of America's greatest rock "n" roll pioneers", adding, "He captivated audiences around the world".

Berry, a St. Louis native, lived there throughout his life.

The owners of The Pageant, a club where Berry often performed, opened their doors for a four-hour public viewing ahead of a private service.

"Everything I wrote about wasn't about me, but about the people listening", Berry once said.

Berry was inducted into the inaugural class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

  • Salvatore Jensen