Keith Richards remembers the day Chuck Berry punched him, The Tonight Show, Sept. 9 2014
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From AP News:
Chuck Berry punched Keith Richards in the face after he found him toying with his guitar.
The iconic musician – who died on March 18, aged 90 – was one of Richards’ biggest influence, but his temper flared when he saw the Rolling Stones rocker messing around with his guitar in his dressing room.
Richards recalled: “We saw him play in New York somewhere, and afterward I was backstage in his dressing room, where his guitar was lying in its case. I wanted to look, out of professional interest, and as I’m just plucking the strings, Chuck walked in and gave me this wallop to the frickin’ left eye.
“But I realised I was in the wrong. If I walked into my dressing room and saw somebody fiddling with my ax, it would be perfectly all right to sock ’em, you know? I just got caught.”
Despite that incident, Richards has retained fond memories of Chuck, who he described as the “granddaddy of us all”.
He told Rolling Stone magazine: “Even if you’re a rock guitarist who wouldn’t name him as your main influence, your main influence is probably still influenced by Chuck Berry. He is rock and roll in its pure essence.”
Richards also revealed that Chuck’s passing reminded him of Buddy Holly’s death in 1959, when the American star was just 22 years of age.
He reflected: “I kind of got the strange feeling that I remembered when Buddy Holly died. I was in school, and this whisper started to go around the classroom. The whole class gave this collective gasp of horror.
“This was that same blow to the gut. It hit me harder than I expected.”
However, Richards admitted he’d consider himself fortunate to live as long as his good friend.
He said: “Chuck certainly hung in there. There’s another thing I hope to emulate.”
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