Did Jerry Lee Lewis really set his pianos on fire onstage?

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Fontenot, Robert. "Did Jerry Lee Lewis really set his pianos on fire onstage?" ThoughtCo, Apr. 25, 2005, thoughtco.com/jerry-lee-lewis-setting-his-pianos-on-fire-on-stage-2523388. Fontenot, Robert. (2005, April 25). Did Jerry Lee Lewis really set his pianos on fire onstage? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/jerry-lee-lewis-setting-his-pianos-on-fire-on-stage-2523388 Fontenot, Robert. "Did Jerry Lee Lewis really set his pianos on fire onstage?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/jerry-lee-lewis-setting-his-pianos-on-fire-on-stage-2523388 (accessed October 16, 2017).

Question: Did Jerry Lee Lewis really set his pianos on fire onstage?

Answer: At least once that can be verified, yes, although no one seems to recall the exact date or venue. The legend is that, while on a Alan Freed package tour in the Fifties, Jerry set the piano on fire during "Great Balls of Fire" and played it until it burned to the ground. This was supposedly done because Chuck Berry was following Lewis onstage that night; Jerry Lee allegedly burned the piano and then stalked off stage, telling Berry, "Follow that, n***er," in order to intimidate him.

The one part of that story that isn't true is the burning of the piano; Jerry did burn it down on at least one occasion, using a Coke bottle filled with gasoline to douse it and then setting it on fire with matches in his pocket, but not during that particular show. Accounts vary of whether Lewis incorporated this move into his act, or just did it the one time, but he hasn't done it since the Fifties, in any case.

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Fontenot, Robert. "Did Jerry Lee Lewis really set his pianos on fire onstage?" ThoughtCo, Apr. 25, 2005, thoughtco.com/jerry-lee-lewis-setting-his-pianos-on-fire-on-stage-2523388. Fontenot, Robert. (2005, April 25). Did Jerry Lee Lewis really set his pianos on fire onstage? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/jerry-lee-lewis-setting-his-pianos-on-fire-on-stage-2523388 Fontenot, Robert. "Did Jerry Lee Lewis really set his pianos on fire onstage?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/jerry-lee-lewis-setting-his-pianos-on-fire-on-stage-2523388 (accessed October 16, 2017).