PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The death of music legend Chuck Berry is hard to take for many in the industry. Berry, often called “the Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” was found dead Saturday at his home near St. Louis.
The news of his passing was especially difficult for Philadelphia DJ legend Jerry Blavat, who says Berry was truly one of a kind.
“When he got up on stage, he hit it,” Blavat said.
Berry’s skills with a guitar, paired with his stage presence, put him in rare company. Blavat says Berry, like many other brilliant musicians, knew what he wanted, and wouldn’t settle for anything less than perfect.
“He knew exactly where he wanted to go with his music,” Blavat said.
So much so, the Geator says, that Berry was tough on the bands he shared a stage with.
“If they didn’t get it right, he would absolutely yell while on stage,” he said.
Blavat says Berry was rock and roll royalty, but he wasn’t fond of practice.
“Chuck would not rehearse,” Blavat explained. “He wanted to get on stage, do his thing, get the off stage. Get his money and run! But he was the greatest.”
And for Blavat, one song stands above the rest.
“When he did ‘Rock and Roll Music,’ that was the National Anthem of what rock and roll was all about.”
Berry spent many nights performing at clubs in Philly and at the Jersey Shore, playing songs Blavat thinks stand the test of time.
“Young people hear it for the first time, it’s good and they will remember it,” he said. “Maybe the closest thing is Bruno Mars. But there will never be another like Chuck Berry.”