George Harrison [at The Beatles induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame]: Thank you all very much, especially the rock’n’rollers, and Little Richard ― it was all his fault, really.
Paul McCartney: 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.
John Lennon: We used to stand backstage at Hamburg’s Star Club and watch Little Richard play. He used to read from the Bible backstage and just to hear him talk, we’d sit round and listen. It was Brian Epstein that brought him to Hamburg. I still love him and he’s one of the greatest.
Little Richard: They’d come to my dressing room and eat there every night. They hadn’t any money so I paid for their food. I used to buy steaks for John. Paul would come in, sit down and just look at me. He wouldn’t move his eyes. And he’d say ‘Oh Richard! You’re my idol. Just let me touch you.’ He wanted to learn my little holler, so we sat at the piano going, ‘Oooh!’ until he got it.
Bob 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.