Legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards made an appearance on The Tonight Show last week to promote his new children’s book, Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar. During the course of the interview, host Jimmy Fallon saw fit to ask Richards about his idol and early influence, Chuck Berry.
“I also heard this story — and I don’t know if this is true or not,” Fallon says. “Did he punch you in the face once?”
See also: Chuck Berry Reviews Classic Punk Records in Unearthed Zine From 1980
“Yes, he did,” Richards replies with a smile.
The incident reportedly took place backstage at a concert at which Berry was performing.
“I was back in a dressing room; he was doing a gig,” Richards explains. “He went up to collect the money, I think. He was a tightwad — bless you, Chuck. But his guitar was laid out in its case like, ‘Aw, c’mon, Keith,’ you know, ‘just a touch.’ ”
Fallon and Richards both laugh as the latter continues, ” ‘Just let me give it an E chord.’ He walks in and goes, ‘Nobody touches my guitar!’ ”
At this point, the Rolling Stone says, Berry punched him in the face.
“That’s one of Chuck’s biggest hits, baby,” Richards quips.
Watch the interview for yourself above.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 16, 2014