Just hours after news of Chuck Berry’s death broke on Saturday, Gene Simmons performed a cover of ‘Johnny B. Goode’ on stage in Cleveland, Ohio in homage to the rock n’ roll pioneer.
The Demon was playing only his second ever full solo show at The Agora venue when he told the crowd 14 songs in: "It's a very sad day today. One of the founding fathers of rock and roll has passed on. If it wasn't for Chuck Berry, there wouldn't have been rock and roll.
“So we’re going to try and do a Chuck Berry cover. We have not rehearsed. Rest in peace Chuck Berry.”
Gene and his band consisting of Phil Shouse, drummer Jarred Pope, guitarist/bassist Jeremy Asbrock and guitarist Ryan Cook then launched into a version of Chuck’s 1958 classic ‘Johnny B. Goode’. You can watch footage of the performance here:
The Cleveland show was Gene Simmons’ first ever full public solo show – he previously performed a corporate event at Drai’s nightclub in Vancouver on 2nd March.
Saturday night’s gig was the first of five shows Gene is playing in conjunction with his Wizard World Comic Con appearances. He also has scheduled shows in St Louis, Philadelphia, Chicago and Austin coming up throughout 2017.
Gene told CantonRep.com ahead of the dates: "This is gonna be a first for me. Outside of KISS, I've never done a solo tour. I never did anything like that. Every once in a while I'll jump up on stage and do a song with somebody. Johnny Depp and I did a few songs together, a few other knuckleheads, but that's about it.
“When Wizard World and I agreed to do five events together, the idea of jumping up onstage and gulping it on for an hour or so came up. And I got a great bunch of guys, real rocking guys who are gonna get up with me, and we'll play all the hits and have ourselves a good old time."
Alongside two tracks from his eponymous 1978 solo album ‘Radioactive’ and ‘See You Tonite’, the Cleveland set-list was dominated by KISS anthems.
Nothin' to Lose
Calling Dr. Love
I Love It Loud
Got Love For Sale
See You Tonite
Johnny B. Goode
Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll
Rock and Roll All Nite