Dylan Kicks Off Tributes to an Original

Musicians say Jerry Lee Lewis left his mark
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2022 5:15 PM CDT
Dylan Kicks Off Tributes to an Original
Jerry Lee Lewis props his foot on the piano as he lays back and acknowledges the applause of fans during the Rock 'n' Roll Revival at New York's Madison Square Garden in 1975.   (AP Photo/Rene Perez, File)

"Jerry Lee will live forever—we all know that," Bob Dylan told an English audience during his concert Friday night. He then performed a Don Robertson song the Killer recorded in 1970, per Yahoo Entertainment, "I Can't Seem to Say Goodbye." Other musicians and celebrities also honored Jerry Lee Lewis, a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's first class of inductees, over the weekend after he died Friday at age 87. Tributes came from:

  • Elton John: "Without Jerry Lee Lewis, I wouldn't have become who I am today. He was groundbreaking and exciting, and he pulverized the piano." John also thanked Lewis "for all the rock 'n' roll memories," per the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
  • Dennis Quaid: "Jerry Lee was a Christian, an American icon and the greatest piano player in the world. People will be listening to 'Great Balls of Fire' and 'Whole Lot of Shakin' 500 years from now," said the actor, who played Lewis in the film, Great Balls of Fire, per the AP.
  • Gene Simmons: "One of the pioneers of rock 'n' roll has passed. A rebel to the end."
  • Peter Guralnick: "Nobody had a more creative approach to the music or a more incendiary approach to performing it. He had the ability to put his stamp on every kind of material he recorded," the author told the New York Times.
  • Rod Stewart: Lewis "had an extraordinary influence on all us early British rockers. ... We will never ever forget you."
  • The Oak Ridge Boys: "Rest easy Killer you were one of a kind."
  • Kyle Young: "He was the ultimate stylist, taking songs to places they could never have gone without his unique voice and soul," said the CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
  • John Fogerty: "No one could touch him!"
  • Stephen King: "He could play that piano, boy. Think I gotta play me some Lewis Boogie."
(More Jerry Lee Lewis stories.)

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