CHICAGO — An agent for Chuck Berry says exhaustion was the reason the rock-and-roll legend felt ill before a Chicago show and had to have medics check him out.
Agent Dick Alen said Sunday via e-mail that the 84-year-old Berry was on a plane going home. Alen didn't indicate where Berry was heading but Berry lived in Wentzville, Mo., as recently as 2008.
Fire Department spokesman Joe Roccasalva says Berry felt better and signed a release after being checked out before Saturday's show.
Concertgoer Steve Handwerker says Berry gave an erratic, out-of-tune performance and had to be helped offstage.
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The Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer was playing to a standing-room only audience before his apparent collapse,the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The newspaper said Berry returned 20 minutes later, though most of the crowd had left.
Handwerker said he went outside and saw an ambulance at the back of the theater, but ran back inside when he heard the remaining crowd roar.
Berry, still in his performance outfit, was standing unassisted and seemed alert, Handwerker said. He said Berry thanked the crowd, said medics put on a blood pressure cuff, and patted his chest.
After tuning up his guitar, however, he told the audience he didn't have the strength to continue, the Sun-Times said. He then exited the stage in his legendary duck walk, according to the report.
Berry later left the Congress Theater in a limo,the Chicago Tribune reported.
He had performed two New Year's Eve shows at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in New York City.
Berry is known for classic songs including "Maybelline," "Johnny B. Goode," and "Roll Over Beethoven."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.