Jerry Lee Lewis lost for words as he turns 75

Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:23am EDT
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "The Killer" is running low on ammo as he marks his 75th birthday on Wednesday.

Jerry Lee Lewis can still pound out "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire" on his piano, and he just released a new album with help from the likes of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ringo Starr, Kid Rock and Willie Nelson.

But a Q&A session with the rock 'n' roll legend at the Grammy Museum on Tuesday was an uncomfortable experience as a blank-faced Lewis sat at a piano and mumbled brief answers to a moderator's questions that he had heard a million times before.

How was his Sun Records labelmate Carl Perkins? "A great guy, a very dear friend."

How about Chuck Berry? "Awesome, fantastic."

His reaction to meeting the Beatles? "Those boys are gonna be big."

Does he play piano at home? "A little bit."

Lewis is on the promotional trail for the album, "Mean Old Man," whose Kris Kristofferson-written title track has generated some laughs. Lewis was quite the hellraiser back in the 1950s, and modern-day fans would still like to picture him as a wild child spreading the devil's music.   Continued...

<p>Musician Jerry Lee Lewis performs during the second of two 25th Anniversary Rock &amp; Roll Hall of Fame concerts in New York in this October 30, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>