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metal talk
3rd May 2016

little richard
Little Richard in 2007 aged 74...

Rock'n'roll pioneer Little Richard, who was a major influence on Lemmy, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and many other massive names in rock, is in fine health and still singing at the age of 83.

Reports by website Digital Music News and The Mercury News surfaced in the last few days that Richard was is in extremely grave health and Bootsy Collins wrote the following on Facebook on April 28th.

"A friend, a legend and some say the true King of rock'n'roll. Lil-Richard needs our love and understanding right now. He is not in the best of health so I ask all the Funkateers to lift him up."

However, William Sobel, Little Richard's attorney of the past thirty years says the reports are untrue and Richard himself is rather annoyed about them.

"I just spoke to him today," Sobel told Rolling Stone.

"He said, 'You know, I want you to talk to the press because I'm really annoyed. This thing started on Facebook. Not only is my family not gathering around me because I'm ill, but I'm still singing. I don't perform like I used to, but I have my singing voice, I walk around, I had hip surgery a while ago but I'm healthy.'"

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Little Richard hasn't performed for over two years and has kept a low profile and stayed away from the spotlight. He apparently lives in a penthouse suite at the Hilton in downtown Nashville.

"He had hip surgery," says Sobel. "He's 83. I don't know how many 83-year-olds still get up and rock it out every week, but in light of the rumours, I wanted to tell you that he's vivacious and conversant about a ton of different things and he's still very active in a daily routine. I used to represent Prince and he just engaged me in all kinds of Prince conversations, calling him a 'creative genius'.'"

In recent years Richard has suffered a stroke, hip surgery and a heart attack during a fundraising event for the Recording Academy in 2013, after which he announced he was retiring from performing.

He was born Richard Wayne Penniman in 1932 in Macon. He's widely known as one of rock'n'roll's founding fathers, with a reputation for outrageous showmanship. He was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1986 as part of its initial class of performers.

"It's Little Richard's fault, all of it," Lemmy said some years ago. "Little Richard is directly responsible for Motörhead. I heard 'Good Golly, Miss Molly' and that was the end of it."

Lemmy even insisted that Little Richard should receive a Golden God award for his contribution to Heavy Metal. It's a belief echoed by Ted Nugent, who noted.

"I stop and think what they call 'punk rock' today... give me a break! Let me know when they can walk in the vapor trail of Little Richard, which was punk. You've got a gay black guy with a pompadour singing about tutti frutti with your white girl? Fuck you!"

Here's more of what Lemmy had to say about Little Richard. Lemmy's funeral service in January was closed by Dave Grohl tearfully reciting the lyrics to Little Richard's 'Precious Lord, Take My Hand'.

Here's Little Richard playing 'Good Golly Miss Molly' live at Muhammad Ali's 50th birthday.

And here's a great song by one of our very favourite bands. Enjoy.


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