Big Little Richard
I feel compelled to write and share some raw thoughts about Little Richard. I’ve seen the trailer for the Little Richard documentary 100 times, so many times in fact, I’m already sick of the subject, and it hasn’t even aired yet.
Tonight, the Little Richard documentary debuts on CNN.
I don’t know why I never liked him. I can’t explain it, and perhaps that reveals something bad about me. But. I’m willing to dig deeper. I’m willing to learn. I also reserve the right to change my mind.
Little Richard’s impact on music, and more importantly AMERICAN CULTURE, is undeniable. It’s also more profound that many may realize. He was a transformative figure in history. Little Richard also had (in my opinion) on of the best rock n’ roll voices of all time. He was an astounding presence. If you diminish his influence, you simply don’t know what you’re talking about. Please. Get an education.
I think what tuned me off about Little Richard was his departure into the abyss when he was at his peak of influence, becoming “born again” as a Christian, all while he was also sucking cocks and doing blow. Yeah, I get it. I understand how repressive American society was at the time (and in some ways, still is — Americans are embarrassingly backward on all facets of sex). Still, it’s the clashing dualities and hypocrisy that bothered me. I also resent Little Richard’s over-the-top self-declarations that he was the “king of rock n’ roll.” Little Richard certainly belongs in that royal court, but he was no king. And Elvis (who many claim was the monarch) was the biggest copycat talentless fraud of all, but hey — that’s another subject for another article.
Why am I writing this *before* I’ve seen the documentary? Easy answer. I want to be *on the record.* I want there to be some imprint on what I (and perhaps you, if you leave a comment) thought about this mammoth cultural influence BEFORE watching and learning more. Think of the M.O. here, and try to understand. I really get excited at the prospect of being wrong, and learning, and then issuing remarks later out that acknowledge misguided perceptions and shed light on voids that previously had not been explored. I consider this process intoxicating in appeal. Yeah, I want to be wrong. Sometimes. At the very least, I was a better understanding.
CNN has done outstanding work on historical documentaries in the past, and I expect nothing less this time around. CNN Films did a masterful expose on LBJ, Julia Child, Navalny, Anthony Bourdain, Jimmy Carter, the National Inquirer, RBG, and so many other subjects. I guess it’s just me in overreacting, but I can’t understand how ANYONE watches most of the escapist fucktrash that masquerades as “entertainment” on TV today, and yet ignores actual content, drama, reality, and meaningful lessons. I was livid after the PBS Northern Island documentary and the lack of interest by anyone including people who should be interested, and might be doing another blow up here. I don’t know why, but it bothers the shit out of me that Adam Sandler’s fartshow on Netflix is #1, and astounding historical documentaries draw a fraction of an insult in rating. Screw you, fuckwad bastards!
I hope to be taught a new lesson, this evening.
I will be watching. If you aren’t watching, I really don’t get it.