Chuck Berry and Peter Sellars Receive 2014 Polar Music Prize (Recap)
Rock and Roll pioneer Chuck Berry was unable to attend the ceremony due to illness and Dave Edmunds received the honor on his behalf. Edmunds read a speech prepared by Berry. He said, "Unfortunately I am unable to travel, but my heart is in Sweden. I want to thank the King and the Royal Family for awarding me the Polar Prize. I understand what a great honor it is to be a recipient. I am sorry that I am unable to travel and receive this personally."
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards recorded a special video message in Chuck Berry's honor for the event. Richards said, "Chuck Berry, he just leapt out of the radio at me. I ate him basically, I mean I breathed him, it wasn't just food, he was the air I breathed for many years when I was learning guitar and trying to figure out how you could be such an all-rounder.
"Such a great voice, such a great player, and also such a great showman, you know, it was all in one package, so basically if I listened to Chuck Berry I was full for the day.
"Chuck, congratulations Chuck! And also congratulations to Sweden for recognizing Chuck Berry for what he is."
The other recipient of the prize this year, American opera and theatre director Peter Sellars was on hand to collect his Prize from King Carl XVI of Sweden.
In his acceptance Sellars said, "Thank you for this overwhelming Award I must dedicate this Prize to my musical families who have adopted me, taught me, have been patient, generous and inspiring beyond anything that I could have imagined Living with music every day is already the most astonishing gift anyone could ask for." -