I'm sorry the service is not open to the public. I'm not much for funerals, but I would have gone to this one.
Why? It's just that Little Richard, the self-proclaimed King (and Queen) of Rock 'n' Roll, meant so much to my generation who grew up after World War II in staid, middle class (more or less), white-bread America where a boring, bourgeois life seemed all too certain. Then along came someone who embodied the antithesis of our fate: wild, untamed, black, androgynous, crazy as a mad dog, and oh so lollapalooza loud. Nothing could be better!
When he did shows in the South, back in the 50s, before he found God, they roped off the black kids from the white kids, but by the end of the show the rope was gone and the black and white audience intermingled, dancing for joy with each other. So Little Richard was more than just a Rock 'n' Roll singer (and God knows he was that!), he was also a mighty force of nature.
This excerpt from a poem by Bobby Byrd, entitled "Why I am a Poet, #7," pretty well sums it up for me:
Getting drunk on dreamy horny Friday nights
45 rpm records with the big holes dripping rhythm and blues onto the turntable
Jimmy Reed and Bobby Blue Bland and Little Richard,
God bless them all,
They saved my life I thank them I praise them