Paul honored his major influence in music, Chuck Berry. Paul was in the jury of the Writers´ group that honored Chuck Berry and Leonard Cohen at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
BOSTON (AP) — Rock ´n roll icons Chuck Berry and Leonard Cohen received PEN New England´s inaugural award for Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence on Sunday. The jury for the award was itself filled with impressive writers, including Bono, Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Paul Muldoon, Smokey Robinson, Salman Rushdie and Paul Simon.
Simon introduced Berry, saying he was rightfully considered a ´great poet of teenage life´ but was much more than that. He went on to read and remark on the lyrics to what he called some of his favorite Berry songs, including ´Maybellene,´ ´´Johnny B. Goode´ and ´Long Distance Information.´
Simon hung the award medal on Berry´s neck and in a move that surprised the event organizers, the 85-year-old Berry picked up an electric guitar and played ´Johnny B. Goode´ to enthusiastic applause.
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