Bob Dylan Remembers Little Richard: My Shining Star and Guiding Light - Rolling Stone
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Bob Dylan Remembers Little Richard: ‘My Shining Star and Guiding Light’

“Of course he’ll live forever. But it’s like a part of your life is gone,” Dylan says of rock pioneer

George Harrison of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Little Richard and Mike Love of The Beach Boys, inductees (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Bob Dylan penned a short tribute to the rock pioneer following his death Saturday at the age of 87.

Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Bob Dylan, who dreamed of joining Little Richard’s band as a young musician in Minnesota, penned a short tribute to the rock pioneer following his death Saturday at the age of 87.

“I just heard the news about Little Richard and I’m so grieved,” Dylan wrote. “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.”

Dylan continued, “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.”

In Dylan’s high school yearbook in 1959, then-senior Robert Zimmerman famously wrote that his life ambition was “to join Little Richard.” As the Star Tribune reported, Dylan even attempted to emulate Little Richard’s imitable performing style during his first-ever public performance at a Hibbing High School talent show in 1957.

Following the death of the King of Rock & Roll, many of the artists who Little Richard inspired — including the Rolling Stones, Elton John, John Fogerty and more — paid tribute to the music icon.

In This Article: Bob Dylan, Little Richard, RSX

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