For Robertson, that power was apparent from the moment he first laid eyes on the musician: “When I was 13 yrs. old I saw Richard in the movie Don’t Knock the Rock sing ‘Long Tall Sally’ and I said, that’s it, it can’t get better than that and it never did.”
Robertson also shared various memories of Little Richard and his music. He noted that the Band often played “Slippin and a Sliding” as an encore “to celebrate his contribution to our music,” and he also recalled bringing Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis together for a gathering in New Orleans.
“Seeing these forefathers together sent chills down the spine,” Robertson wrote. “They loved seeing each other and being together. They told amazing stories of the early days and how competitive they were but how in awe they were of each other’s extraordinary talent.”
The last anecdote Robertson shared involved a hang with Paul McCartney last year when the former Beatle found himself at a piano and began playing Little Richard’s “Miss Ann.”
“You could hear in his voice the same inflection as Richard and we already knew the Beatles were very influenced by Richard,” Robertson said. “I told Paul I used to sing ‘Miss Ann’ in my first band Robbie and the Robots. He laughed and said, me too… it wasn’t a well-known track but that’s what we loved about it.”
In closing, Robertson wrote, “When we all first heard Little Richard’s voice and saw him perform it was life-changing. We send our true love and appreciation to a founding father and originator of this musical art form.”