One of the groundbreaking pioneers of Rock died today at 87. Little Richard, the piano pounding, barrier crashing, flamboyant and almost always astounding performer was an inspiration to multiple generations of musicians for nearly a century. David Bowie once said the he and many of his contemporaries would not have become musicians were it not for the man born Richard Penniman.
Steven Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen's band singled out Little Richard as the "archetype" and "the man who invented Rock and Roll. Jimmy Page said it was "Little Richard's songs that pioneered rock 'n' roll". Dave Davies called Penniman's riffs "The best backbeat in the world" and the Kinks veteran called him "an immense inspiration" and Ringo Starr cited him as being "one of my all-time musical heroes".