That Time Chuck Berry Punched Keith Richards in the Face

March 21, 2017

It's no secret that the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards was one of Chuck Berry's biggest—or at least most famous—fans. Keith has been recording his own versions of Chuck's tunes since the Stones covered "Carol," "Around and Around" and "You Can't Catch Me" in 1964.

But a lot of people might not know that Chuck once punched Keith in the face. At least it was over something a lot of Guitar Player readers can understand: a guitar.

As Keith explained it to Jimmy Fallon in 2014: "I was in his dressing room, he was doing a gig, um, 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 (jump ahead to 2:00)—and then watch him play "Nadine" with Berry in 1987. It's a scene from Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll.

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