That Time Chuck Berry Punched Keith Richards in the Face

March 22nd, 2017

By Damian Fanelli

It’s no secret that the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards is one of the late Chuck Berry’s biggest—or at least most famous—fans.
Richards, who based his initial guitar style on Berry’s, has been recording his own versions of Berry’s tunes since the Stones covered “Carol,” “Around and Around” and “You Can’t Catch Me” in 1964. Richards also inducted Berry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

But a lot of people might not know that Chuck once punched Keith in the face. Hey, at least it was over something a lot of Guitar Aficionado readers can appreciate: a guitar.

As Keith explained it to Jimmy Fallon in 2014: “I was in his dressing room, he was doing a gig, he went off to collect the money, I think. He was a tightwad—bless you, Chuck! His guitar was laid out in his case. [I thought], ‘Ah, come on, Keith, just a touch. Just let me give it a little E chord.’

“[Chuck] walked in and goes, ‘Nobody touches my guitar! BONG!’ It was one of Chuck’s biggest hits.”

You can watch Keith tell more of the story in the top clip below (skip ahead to 2:00)—and then watch the scene from 1987’s Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll where Chuck and Keith play “Nadine.”

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