Brian May gets ‘emotional’ at launch of latest album
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Jerry Lee Lewis, one of the last surviving stars of the rock n’ roll golden age died over the weekend at 87. The contemporary of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash lived a scandalous and controversial life filled with sex, violence and drug addiction. Yet music stars inspired by the complex Great Balls of Fire singer could not deny his talent and were thankful for his contribution in tributes from the likes of Sir Ringo Starr and Sir Elton John.
The Beatles’ drummer wrote on Instagram: “God bless Jerry Lee Lewis, peace and love to all his family.”
Rocketman posted on his: “Without Jerry Lee Lewis, I wouldn’t have become who I am today. He was groundbreaking and exciting and he pulverised the piano.”
Queen legend Brian May has also paid tribute, sharing a video of himself performing Great Balls of Fire with the late star in 1989.
The event was called Jerry Lee Lewis and Friends and the pair were joined by the likes of Elvis’ guitarist James Burton, The Kinks’ Dave Davies, Van Morrison, David Edmunds and John Lodge.
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A post shared by Brian Harold May (@brianmayforreal)
Brian wrote on his Instagram: “Gutted to hear this Rock and Roll hero has left us. A founding father of Rock music, he epitomised the gritty side of this emerging genre, a scary and anarchic figure to the older generation – our Mums and Dads. To the kids, his dangerous aura and blunt energy was a tonic – an inspiration. I got to play with him just once, at Hammersmith Odeon as it was then, in 1989. Thanks to @iswearshesvintage for these clips.”
Brian continued: “Here you can see us all nervously watching Jerry’s every move – eager to give our best, yet concerned not to p*** him off !!! Everybody got strict instructions before the show – NOBODY trespasses in front of the piano ! I think in my enthusiasm I did. SWIPE! He gave me a kind of wry conspiratorial smile. Like ‘Hell ! Go for it buddy!’ What a thrill. A moment I’ll treasure forever. RIP Jerry Lee Lewis. Rock on. Bri”
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Lewis, who was performing live into his Eighties, was falsely reported to have died on October 26. However, the 87-year-old did die two days later after a bout of pneumonia at his home in Nesbit, Mississippi.
He is survived by his seventh wife Judith Brown, who he married in 2012 and just earlier this month he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
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