San Francisco

Bay Area Praises Chuck Berry's Contributions to Music

Known as the founder of rock 'n' roll, Chuck Perry dazzled music lovers with his gifted guitar skills for decades before dying at his Missouri home Saturday afternoon.

News of the 90-year-old's death triggered an outpouring of praise from the Bay Area music community.

"It's American music, and he's maybe our American Beethoven," Mel Ash from Mad Monks Music in Berkeley said.

Ash added that Berry had a special connection to San Francisco.

"One of his greatest albums was 'Live at the Filmore, Chuck Berry,'" Ash said. "So he paid tribute to the bay."

Ryan Eller from Berkeley credits Berry for being a music pioneer.

"He's sort of one of the last era of musicians that really paved the way for so many different types of music that's fundamental to the American experience," Eller said.

Berry, who was pronounced dead at his Missouri home, was slated to release a new album this year. That record would have been his newest in nearly 40 years.

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