Home Music Paul McCartney on Little Richard, A Huge Influence for Him: “I owe...

Paul McCartney has posted his tribute to Little Richard this morning. The Beatles opened for Richard in Hamburg in 1962. Billy Preston was a teenager who came with Richard in his band. That’s how Billy met the Fab Four. Seven years later he’d be on a rooftop in London with them making history. In the interim, the Beatles immediately recorded “Long Tall Sally.” So many of John and Paul’s vocal stylings were influenced by Richard’s shrieks and woops.

Paul writes:
‘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.’

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