Monday, August 1, 2011

Chuck Berry statue dedicated in U-City

ST. LOUIS, MO (ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO) - A nearly two-year effort to raise money for a statue of St. Louis native Chuck Berry in the city came officially to a close Friday as dignitaries gathered with the man they call the father of rock and roll to dedicate the sculpture.

The eight-foot tall figure shows a younger Berry jamming away at his guitar. It sits right across from Blueberry Hill in the Loop, where the 84-year-old still performs once a month.

Harry Weber, another native, designed the sculpture. He called the project a great challenge and privilege.

"Chuck is a part of history that goes beyond music. He created a new means of expression through rock and roll that inspired generations of young people to find their voice," Weber said. "He has shown us all what it means to have a calling, always find joy in what he does, and sharing that joy with everyone who hears his music."

Private donations covered the $100 thousand cost.

The statue generated some controversy. Berry is a convicted felon, and University City residents protested the fact that it’s on city property, making the city responsible for lighting and maintenance.

Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio


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