Little Richard bowing out at 80
Rock’n'roll icon Little Richard feels he’s more or less retired at the age of 80, admitting he has no interest in working any longer.
He hasn’t hit the stage since June 2012, when he stopped a performance at the Howard Theatre in Washington and said to the crowd: “Jesus, please help me – I can’t hardly breathe. It’s horrible.”
He’s kept a low profile for the past year, and now he says that’s likely to continue.
Richard tells Rolling Stone, via WENN: “I am done, in a sense, because I don’t feel like doing anything right now.
“I think my legacy should be that when I started in show business there wasn’t no such thing as rock’n'roll. When I started with Tutti Frutti, that’s when rock really started rocking.”
Rolling Stone previously named Richard, real name Richard Penniman, the eighth greatest rock artist of all time. Frequently referred to as “the architect of rock’n'roll,” he’s also Motorhead frontman Lemmy’s favourite musician. Former Slade frontman Noddy Holder described him to Classic Rock as “dirty, nitty-gritty showbiz.”
Richard once reflected on his career by saying: “I was the first black artist whose records the white kids were starting to buy. And the parents were really bitter about me. I didn’t get paid — most dates I didn’t get paid. And I’ve never gotten money from most of those records.
“I wish a lot of things had been different; I don’t think I ever got what I really deserved. But it’s a joy just to still be here – I think that when people want joy and fun and happiness, they want to hear the old-time rock’n'roll. I’m just glad I was a part of that.”
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