The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #167819 Message #4051568
Posted By: Rusty Dobro
10-May-20 - 03:47 AM
Thread Name: Obit: ‘Little’ Richard Penniman (1932-2020)
Subject: RE: Obit: ‘Little’ Richard Penniman (1932-2020)
When I was working at Heathrow, my boss came in and said to me, 'You like music, don't you?'
Sensing a catch, I reluctantly agreed, and he said, 'We've got Little Richard outside,with a problem in his paperwork. He's getting cross, so can you take him for a coffee while we sort it out?'
I went out, and there was Richard, much taller than I expected due to high heels and that famous hairstyle. He was wearing dungarees with no shirt, over the most Trumpian orange tan I'd ever seen, with lipstick and mascara. We went for a coffee, and although he was grumpy, as people delayed at airports often are, he mellowed when he found that I had tickets for the London Rock and Roll Show that weekend (LR, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Fury, Heinz, Wizzard, Gary Glitter (!), Lord Sutch, Joe Brown, Emile Ford, and many others, all for £1.80)
We spent one of the more interesting half-hours of my life, and I still have his photo from the 'Melody Maker', duly autographed. As for the show, Richard was angry not to be top of the bill over Chuck Berry, and refused to leave the stage as the midnight dead-line grew nearer, meaning that Chuck's act was drastically cut short.
RIP Richard - truly an original.