Little Richard’s Passing Inspired Deeply Personal Reflections from Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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When this past Saturday’s news of the death of Little Richard hit the internet, it inspired an outpouring of love from all corners of the music community — such was the influence and legacy of Richard’s music, a pioneer of multiple genres who laid the groundwork for several legends that followed in his wake.

Among those most impacted by the music of Little Richard were Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan, and among the many social media posts paying respects to Richard after his passing, theirs stood out as especially powerful to read.

Said McCartney through his social media pages:

From ‘Tutti Frutti’ to ‘Long Tall Sally’ to ‘Good Golly, Miss Molly’ to ‘Lucille’, Little Richard came screaming into my life when I was a teenager. I owe a lot of what I do to Little Richard and his style; and he knew it. He would say, “I taught Paul everything he knows”. I had to admit he was right. In the early days of The Beatles we played with Richard in Hamburg and got to know him. He would let us hang out in his dressing room and we were witness to his pre-show rituals, with his head under a towel over a bowl of steaming hot water he would suddenly lift his head up to the mirror and say, “I can’t help it cos I’m so beautiful”. And he was. A great man with a lovely sense of humour and someone who will be missed by the rock and roll community and many more. I thank him for all he taught me and the kindness he showed by letting me be his friend. Goodbye Richard and a-wop-bop-a-loo-bop.’ – Paul McCartney #LittleRichard #PaulMcCartney

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'From 'Tutti Frutti' to 'Long Tall Sally' to 'Good Golly, Miss Molly' to 'Lucille', Little Richard came screaming into my life when I was a teenager. I owe a lot of what I do to Little Richard and his style; and he knew it. He would say, "I taught Paul everything he knows". I had to admit he was right. In the early days of The Beatles we played with Richard in Hamburg and got to know him. He would let us hang out in his dressing room and we were witness to his pre-show rituals, with his head under a towel over a bowl of steaming hot water he would suddenly lift his head up to the mirror and say, "I can’t help it cos I’m so beautiful". And he was. A great man with a lovely sense of humour and someone who will be missed by the rock and roll community and many more. I thank him for all he taught me and the kindness he showed by letting me be his friend. Goodbye Richard and a-wop-bop-a-loo-bop.' – Paul McCartney #LittleRichard #PaulMcCartney

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And Dylan:

I just heard the news about Little Richard and I’m so grieved. He was my shining star and guiding light back when I was only a little boy. His was the original spirit that moved me to do everything I would do.

I played some shows with him in Europe in the early nineties and got to hang out in his dressing room a lot. He was always generous, kind and humble. And still dynamite as a performer and a musician and you could still learn plenty from him.

In his presence he was always the same Little Richard that I first heard and was awed by growing up and I always was the same little boy. Of course he’ll live forever. But it’s like a part of your life is gone.

Very well put, gentlemen. May Little Richard rest in peace.


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