Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Little Richard is Gravely Ill

According to this piece in the Mercury News, Little Richard is very ill. He's had a stroke, a heart attack, and hip surgery in recent years. He's 83 years old.

I met him once at an Oldies concert we did during my WJMK days. At that time, he was a sight to behold. I just remember thinking "his head is huge!"--it's abnormally large. He also wore more makeup than any woman I've ever met. It was thick pancake makeup. But when he got on stage...yowza. He was still absolutely electric well into his 70s.

My conversation with him was brief, but it was long enough to figure out a few things. One, he considers himself the architect of rock and roll, and two, he is a little bitter that he isn't credited as such. He mentioned it several times in the two minute conversation I had with him. But here's the thing about Richard...he's right. His early records (and Chuck Berry's) really are the building blocks of the art form.