Keith Richards Pays Tribute to Chuck Berry
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ABC News Radio reports that Berry was bestowed the honor on Aug. 26, at a ceremony at Stockholm’s Concert Hall. Berry was unable to attend, but ace guitarist Dave Edmunds was on hand to accept the award in his stead.
Richards wasn’t physically present either, but he sent along a videotaped tribute (which you can watch above), in which he once again shared Berry’s profound impact on the future Rolling Stones guitarist’s musical development.
“Chuck Berry, he just leaped out of the radio at me. I ate him basically, I mean I breathed him,” he recalled. “It wasn’t just food, he was the air I breathed for many years when I was learning guitar and trying to figure out how you could be such an all-rounder. Such a great voice, such a great player, and also such a great showman, you know, it was all in one package, so basically if I listened to Chuck Berry I was full for the day.”
Fans will recall that Richards previously feted Berry in the documentary ‘Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ which found the rock legend fronting an all-star band with a series of special guests — and loudly battling Richards behind the scenes.
“I was willing to take all of that,” Richards told writer Ira Robbins in 1988. “I ate the bullets and chewed lead. If I could show the rest of the guys that I’m willing to take any amount of crap to do this gig, then I’ve got that much of a better band. Also, it’s gonna fox Chuck. He’s trying to provoke me, and I ain’t gonna go for it. If I’d turned the gig down, somebody else would have done it and I would have been kicking myself. It would have been a sore point with me for the rest of my life.”