Brian Wilson was backstage Saturday night, waiting to perform at Indio, California’s Fantasy Springs Resort Casino for his Pet Sounds 50th anniversary tour, when he heard that one of his idols, Chuck Berry, had died. “I was shocked by it and it kind of scared me,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I don’t know why it scared me, but it was just a shock.” On Sunday, he says he’s still taking the news “pretty rough.”
For Wilson, Berry was an important inspiration for some of the first music he wrote over half a century ago for the Beach Boys. “He taught me how to write rock & roll melodies, the way the vocals should go,” he says. “His lyrics were very, very good. They were unusually good lyrics. I liked ‘Johnny B. Goode,’ all about a young, little kid who played his guitar.
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