The Latest: Family and friends pack service for Chuck Berry


ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the public viewing and private service honoring rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry (all times local):

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1:50 p.m.

A private funeral service and celebration for music legend Chuck Berry has begun, with mourners slowly walking past his open casket.

Family and friends of the rock ‘n’ roll legend have filled the St. Louis music club where Sunday’s private service is being held. Berry died last month at age 90.

Hundreds of fans filed through the club earlier Sunday to pay their final respects to Berry, whose beloved cherry-red Gibson guitar was bolted to the inside of his coffin lid.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Rev. Alex I. Peterson told those at the private service that they would celebrate Berry’s life in a rock ‘n roll style.

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11 a.m.

Hundreds of Chuck Berry fans have turned out to pay their last respects to rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry.

The Rolling Stones sent a flower arrangement shaped like a guitar that was displayed near Berry’s casket. The note read: “Thank you for the inspiration. With fondest memories, Keith, Mick, Charlie, and Ronnie. The Rolling Stones.”

Wendy Mason drove in from Kansas City, Kansas to attend the visitation because Berry meant a lot to her and anybody who grew up on rock ‘n’ roll. She says Berry’s music will live on forever.

David Letterman’s former band leader, Paul Shaffer, showed up at the service to pay tribute Sunday. Shaffer told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Berry inspired everyone who plays rock ‘n’ roll.

Nick Hair brought his guitar with him from Nashville, Tennessee, so he could play Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” while waiting in line outside the visitation. Hair says Berry set the foundation for music today.

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8:30 a.m.

Fans young and old are filing into a St. Louis music club to pay their final respects to rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry, who died last month at age 90.

The Pageant, where Berry often performed, opened its doors Sunday morning for a four-hour public viewing, which will be followed by a private service for family and friends.

The musician behind hits such as “Johnny B. Goode,” ”Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Roll Over Beethoven” had a profound influence on rock ‘n’ roll, from garage bands to stadium acts such as the Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Berry was the first artist in the inaugural 1986 class to go into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and he closed out its concert in 1995 to celebrate that Cleveland building’s opening.

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1 a.m.

Chuck Berry fans have the chance to say their final farewells to the late rock ‘n’ roll visionary.

Fans can file past Berry’s casket later Sunday at a St. Louis club where he often performed. After the public viewing, a private service will be held for family and friends of the music legend, who died March 18 at age 90.

The musician behind hits such as “Johnny B. Goode,” ”Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Roll Over Beethoven” had a profound influence on rock ‘n’ roll, from garage bands to stadium acts such as the Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Berry was the first artist in the inaugural 1986 class to go into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and he closed out its concert in 1995 to celebrate that Cleveland building’s opening.