For sheer tear down the house, hollerin' bravado and pure passion.
Conflicted and contrary.
Scandalous and screaming and black.
There was only ever Little Richard.
The true originator of Rock & Roll.
All the brass, sass and androgyny from the Stones to Bowie.
From Michael Jackson to Prince.
From Madonna to Lady Gaga.
All roads lead back to Richard Penniman.
He wasn't just the most extreme presence of his era.
He left every era standing in the shade of his sheer bravado.
He knocked hell out of those piano keys.
As the hairline receded the wigs just got bigger.
Conflicted and at times provocative.
His recent unfortunate views on homosexuality came from inner conflict.
From that came the songs.
His contradictions drove and made him who he was.
We don't want our icons perfect.
We need them chipped and flawed.
There were the convictions for voyeurism and lewd conduct.
The revolving doors on his sexual closet.
The extreme swings of religiosity.
You simply can't ignore the jerking electricity that still fizzes in his songs.
The joy combined with madness.
Good Golly Miss Molly, Tutti Fruitti, Lucille, Rip It Up!
The sheer poetry of Awopbopallbopalopbamboom.
As Jobriath once sang "A Little Richard Goes A Long Long Way"
It did then and it always will.
This is the end of the very beginning.
Something pivotal has died with him.
The baton has fallen.
There is, in this instance, no successor waiting in the wings.
The Queen Is Dead! Long Live The King!