LIttle Richard Turns 81 Today And You Should Definitely Celebrate By Watching Little Richard Videos
So Little Richard is 81 today, you guys, which is dope. More dope: he spent 65-plus years of that time performing. He retired only a few months ago, which is insane to think about. When we are in our dotage, we will be lazy as fuck, and it will be a wonder if you get us out of the giant person-swallowing recliner, much less make us perform music.
Trufax: when we were little, we thought Little Richard was SO WEIRD. He was so much more flamboyant and wild than the other people from the late 1950s/early 1960s that we’d seen. Sure, Elvis tore it the fuck up, and the Beatles seemed really happy, but there was nothing like Little Richard.
He had that pompadour and those shoes and that falsetto shout and those eyes that switched from bedroom sultry to wide-eyed delight so effortlessly, and we felt like it was all just a little too much somehow. And then we discovered Prince and thought dayyyyum, we get it now.
If you really want to see the direct line from Little Richard to Prince, check out these never-published-before pix of the former over at Life. They’re from 1971 and never ran in the magazine, and you can see why. There’s no way the staid Life could have ever run these photos. Little Richard’s hair was curly and almost bouffant-level high, he had tons of eyeliner on, his mouth was covered in lipstick just below his tiny moustache, and he’s wearing some sort of full bodysuit with fringe dangling just past his pelvis. In some shots he looks like he’s in the throes of spiritual ecstasy, and in others he’s beautifully androgynous. What we’re trying to say is he looks fucking perfect.
Even when he performed in Vegas earlier this year, which if you are dumb and can’t do math, was AFTER the man already turned 80, he was still vibrant and oh-so-flashy, even if he couldn’t jump around anymore. Instead, he sits on a giant golden-colored chair. But all the other Little Richard trademarks – a purple velvet suit, oversized glasses, a piano line that is somehow both the backbone and the star of the song – are still there.
Happy Birthday, Little Richard. Even if we’ll never get to see you pound the piano so hard it seems like the keys might just snap under the weight of your enthusiasm, you’re still insanely great, on the real.