Skip To Content

WATCH: KISS’s Gene Simmons Delivers Emotional Tribute To Chuck Berry

On April 9, the late, great rock ‘n’ roll icon Chuck Berry was laid to rest.

His funeral, a four-hour affair marked by performances by Berry’s collaborators and tributes from fans ranging from Paul McCartney to Bill Clinton (both in absentia), took place at St. Louis’s Pageant Theater.

Berry, a St. Louis native, lived there throughout his life. Into his last years, he played monthly shows at Blueberry Hill, a bar located on the same street as the Pageant.

Israeli-born Gene Simmons of the band KISS, in town for a comic-book convention, took to the stage to deliver an impromptu eulogy for Berry.

“He broke down the barriers, made all kinds of people’s hearts and minds open up to the idea that we all belong to the same people,” Simmons, disguising tears behind a pair of dark sunglasses, said.

Watch his full speech, below.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.