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Fans say farewell to rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/9/2017
FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2007, file photo, legendary U.S. musician Chuck Berry performs on stage at the Avo Session in Basel, Switzerland. Fans can file past Berry's casket later Sunday, April 9, 2017, at a St. Louis club where he often performed. After the public viewing, a private service will be held for family and friends of the music legend, who died March 18, 2017, at age 90. (Peter Klaunzer/Keystone via AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2007, file photo, legendary U.S. musician Chuck Berry performs on stage at the Avo Session in Basel, Switzerland. Fans can file past Berry's casket later Sunday, April 9, 2017, at a St. Louis club where he often performed. After the public viewing, a private service will be held for family and friends of the music legend, who died March 18, 2017, at age 90. (Peter Klaunzer/Keystone via AP, File)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Fans lined up before dawn on Sunday to pay their final respects to music legend Chuck Berry, roughly three weeks after his death at age 90 near his hometown of St. Louis.

Fans stand in line for a chance to pay their respects to the rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry during a public viewing ahead of his celebration of life and private burial Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) © The Associated Press Fans stand in line for a chance to pay their respects to the rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry during a public viewing ahead of his celebration of life and private burial Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The Pageant, a St. Louis club where Berry often performed, opened its doors Sunday morning for a four-hour public viewing, which will be followed by a private service and celebration for the musicians family and friends.

FILE - In this Saturday, May 30, 2009 file photo, Chuck Berry performs at The Domino Effect, a tribute concert to New Orleans rock and roll musician Fats Domino, at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans. Fans can file past Berry's casket later Sunday, April 9, 2017, at a St. Louis club where he often performed. After the public viewing, a private service will be held for family and friends of the music legend, who died March 18 at age 90. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Saturday, May 30, 2009 file photo, Chuck Berry performs at The Domino Effect, a tribute concert to New Orleans rock and roll musician Fats Domino, at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans. Fans can file past Berry's casket later Sunday, April 9, 2017, at a St. Louis club where he often performed. After the public viewing, a private service will be held for family and friends of the music legend, who died March 18 at age 90. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

As fans filed past Berry's open casket, which has a red Gibson electric guitar bolted to the inside of its lid, a musician outside played Berry standards such as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven."

Alan Bozich, left, holds up his phone to watch a video of Chuck Berry as he stands in line with Jimmy Herrmann, right, to pay their respects to the rock 'n' roll legend during Berry's public viewing Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) © The Associated Press Alan Bozich, left, holds up his phone to watch a video of Chuck Berry as he stands in line with Jimmy Herrmann, right, to pay their respects to the rock 'n' roll legend during Berry's public viewing Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Among the flower arrangements inside the hall was one in the shape of a guitar sent by The Rolling Stones, one of the many bands profoundly influenced by the St. Louis rock 'n' roller.

Fans stand in line for a chance to pay their respects to the rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry during a public viewing ahead of his celebration of life and private burial Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) © The Associated Press Fans stand in line for a chance to pay their respects to the rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry during a public viewing ahead of his celebration of life and private burial Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

When Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards spoke about Berry at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's 1986 induction ceremony — Berry was the first person inducted from that inaugural class — he said Berry was the one who started it all.

Well before the rise of Bob Dylan, Berry wedded social commentary to the beat and rush of popular music.

"He was singing good lyrics, and intelligent lyrics, in the '50s when people were singing, "Oh, baby, I love you so,'" John Lennon once observed.

"Everything I wrote about wasn't about me, but about the people listening," Berry once said.

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