Skip to main content

Watch Gene Simmons deliver emotional tribute to Chuck Berry

Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons

Kiss bassist and vocalist Gene Simmons has delivered an emotional tribute to Chuck Berry at a memorial service to the rock’n’roll pioneer.

Berry died last month at the age of 90, with the service to the guitarist taking place in St Louis over the weekend.

Simmons, who revealed he hadn’t initially planned to speak at the event, took to the stage and spoke about seeing Berry on TV for the first time when he was a youngster – and the influence he had on his own career.

Simmons said: “When the Beatles came and the Stones came and Jimi Hendrix came and everybody started to say, ‘Look how cute they are, look at that music – what are you doing?’ They would all turn around humbly and point to the king – Chuck Berry.

“Without him, they wouldn’t be there. Without Chuck Berry, I wouldn’t be here and everything that became this huge thing called rock and roll started with a guy who just wanted to make people feel good.”

Following the service, Simmons posted a note on the Kiss Facebook page saying he was honoured to attend the event.

He said: “Sad but honoured to have been invited to the Chuck Berry Memorial event. The open casket was on view, but I couldn’t bear looking. It would break my heart.”

Scott Munro

Scott looks after Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 25 years in newspapers and magazines and in 2014 joined our news desk, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more. Scott has previous written for the Daily Record, Sunday Mirror, The Herald and IGN.