Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Streetcar Named Little Richard

(image via rhino)

Little Richard is still among us ("I invented us"), ageless, flamBOYant as all get out. He is, of course, one of the poineers of that infernal rock and roll (The Corsair shakes an impotent fist) and although his voice doesn't quite hit the upper register, he is still somewhat formidable as a pop-cultural force.

But he also seems -- and don't take this the wrong way -- more and more, to be a (how does one say it?) character in a Motherfucking Tennessee Williams story. From the Old Gray Lady:

"Someone mentioned James Brown. 'I’m so sorry about my friend James,' he said, making his face into a moue. 'He loved me so much. He said, ‘Oh, you got some pretty skin.’ '

"The band — big enough to suggest the Mack-truck vibe of his best music, with two drummers, four horn players, an organist, a bassist and two guitarists — started with 'Good Golly, Miss Molly.' Little Richard sang casually, not really ready, unable to deliver his falsetto shrieks. The song ended quickly.

“'It’s so nice just sitting here, being beautiful,' he said. 'I feel so unnecessary.' Someone yelled. 'Shaddup,' he shot back."

Alright, I'll give. At what point in his storied career did Little Richard metamorphose into Blanche DuBois?

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