Sunday, September 24, 2006

Woo Hooo!!!

"I'm the very beautiful Little Richard from Macon, Georgia," he said, and we all went wild. He proclaimed himself The Originator, which he certainly was. He said, "People think - (in hushed tones) somebody else- invented Rock & Roll, but we all know that's not true." We screamed and stomped and whistled.

It must have been painful for Little Richard to witness Elvis Presley's phenomenal success bringing HIS music to a wider (read that white) audience, to be considered an "also ran" by so many who idolized Elvis.

It was the 34th Annual San Francisco Blues Festival. The amazing Ruth Brown, 76, preceded Richard on the program. She still has everything she needs to hold an audience spellbound. The lady has pipes and a laugh that could cure anyone's blues. To hear her sing is to love her madly.

Little Richard was the closing act, and at 74, he still sounds like the young man he used to be. He is a mischievous charmer who knows how to make a thousand people eat out of his hand. He's funny, eccentric, and holds nothing back. We were all ready to receive it like communion wafers. We sat there with our mouths hanging open. He owned us all.

You know, I can't write anything about these two that doesn't sound like promotional publicity stuff or liner notes. It was just an incredible thrill to hear two legendary performers in person, and to know that they are still at the top of their game.

We should all be that good at something at their ages, or ever.


d~ said...

"We were all ready to receive it like communion wafers."

That's such a great analogy. So evocative.

Steven Novak said...

Well said.


Michael C said...

Very cool. One can certainly argue that without Little Richard, there might not have been the Beatles. They, especially Paul, were very influenced by him.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thank you! You're always so kind.


Well listened. Really!


ALL the rock musicians were influenced by him. I did an earlier post about Elvis on the anniversary of his death (Aug. 16th) in which I collected a lot of quotes, including one from Little Richard, who with unbelievable graciousness, gave Elvis credit for what he, himself, really brought the world.

Elvis was great, but Little Richard was The Source.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Correction: Little Richard is not 72, as stated, but 74. The newspaper was wrong, and I was wrong. The program was right. He was born in 1932, so add a couple more glorious years.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Correction: Little Richard is not 72, as stated, but 74. The newspaper was wrong, and I was wrong. The program was right. He was born in 1932, so add a couple more glorious years.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Damn Blogger!

~Macarena~ said...

Good Golly, Miss Heart-y!

Blurb/liner notes: No, you are genuine. I thoguht it was going to be about his first concert or the one that propelled him to fame. This was far better than those horrid bits from reviews, on books or ads for movies, with all the damned ellipsis.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Good Golly, Miss Maccy, :)

Thank you! I loved every minute of it. Did I mention that the man is AMAZING?!!!


Odat said...

Very wow!! So glad you could hear that...and yes, I hope I'm doing something that gives joy like that when I hit that age!


mist1 said...

I'm trying to think what I'm that good at...I'm not sure there's anything.

Really nice post.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thank you.

You haven't had 70-odd years to perfect your craft, but you write really well and have a wicked sense of humor. I've been enjoying your blog since I became aware of it.

Christina_the_wench said...

Wow. We can only hope to be that cool and crazy at 74. Great post.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


True. Although most people are not that cool and crazy to begin with.

I think I've got crazy covered, but not the cool part.
Maybe when I'm 74.

djn said...

To think if there was no Little Richard... Well, I don't want to even imagine it! So glad you indulged by going to the festival. So many people will pass up an opportunity like that because they don't like crowds. I bet you were truly in the moment. Good for you!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I hate crowds, actually. But c'mon, man. Little Richard!!

He's not only a dazzling entertainer, but he's History. He is the history of every popular musician, and of music itself in this country.

Seeing him In Person was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And on top of that, the concert was held in a park where we ride our bikes all the time, so we didn't have to deal with parking.

It was a match made in Heaven.

The Special Sauce said...

Not to take anything away from Little Richard, (peace be upon him)but it was Chuck Berry who invented rock and roll. He was the guy to take blue grass chords and put a back beat to it.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Well, let's not tell Little Richard that, okay?

Supposedly, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis all had a clause in their contracts that they close any show they appeared in, which of course wasn't possible when more than one of them was on the bill. A coin toss decided who got to close, and they all resorted to dirty tricks to ruin the closing act's performance.

Lewis once set his piano on fire because Berry was closing, and Richard strolled down the aisle as Lewis was doing his closing act, handing out autographed photos of himself and leaving with half the audience. Those were the days!

Hey, thanks for coming by!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Sauce from Oahu,

P.S. My husband, a blues guitarist (who lived in Hawaii for many years and considers it home) agrees with you. He says that Chuck Berry was way ahead of everybody.

So many great musicians. Somebody had to be the first.

jali said...

I would love to see the two of them in concert. I hope that as I age I retain my talent. (as yet undetermined - smile)

Pendullum said...

I am sooooooooo jealous!!!!!!!!!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm sure you will.


I'm sure you are.


urban-urchin said...

He's 74? I just say him on an AWFUL show as a judge "Celebrity Duets". He looks amazing. Well, ok, rephrased to say- he hasn't aged at ALL.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


He DOES look exactly the same. How can this be?

Do the words "plastic surgery" mean anything to you?

Kevin Charnas said...

damn it.

i'm going to go check and see if he's coming here anytime soon. i'm serious. i love them both.

so glad that you had such a great time.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Hey, Kevin!

I did. I had a really great time.

Sorry you couldn't make it.

ShadowFalcon said...

Little richard is 74? how is this possible.

He is very funny and I'm sure he's even better live.

Sven said...

I felt the same way after seeing Etta James a few years ago. Given the results, life probably worked to Little Richard's advantage though.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


He couldn't be any better than he is. He has not lost any of his excitement for performing, and it makes hia act still so exciting to his audiences.


I LOVE Etta James!! I wanted to see her live for my birthday,but she was playing in Boston.

You guys are both new here. Thank you for coming by!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Yeah, Chuck Berry is the originator, not Little Richard. However, I wish "My Dingaling" were Little Richard's song instead.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yeah, not his best song. I guess even the greatest do something lousy on occasion.