Little Richard: Singer, innovator, showman ... the 'Architect of Rock ’n’ Roll'

December 4, 2012 

THIS I KNOW: Snapshots of life lessons in people’s own words. An interview with Little Richard as he prepares to celebrate his 80th birthday Wednesday.

God has been good to me.

Nobody in my family lived to get this age. None of the men.

I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. I’m not putting nobody down that do, because to each his own.

There’s a lot of secrets to a good hairdo. Now you don’t have to have no secrets because you can buy one whenever you want to. Back in my time, you couldn’t. Now you can buy a hairstyle and put it in your pocket and put it in your locker.

I’ve been living in California for about 50 years, but you still can’t beat your home. You still love your home better than anywhere you’ve ever been.

It’s like I’m going back into time when I come to Macon, like I’m going back in a old capsule, living my life all over again. ... When I go into Pleasant Hill where I was raised and born, ... I don’t see much difference.

They probably call it “thuggy.” Macon has never been thuggy, or whatever they call that, to me. I love Macon and I always will love Macon. I think that people that have given it a bad blow or a bad consideration because ... it’s not a rich place with a lot of money. But people that are there, they have worked hard. ... I can’t discredit Macon in any way. ... Macon is the greatest, greatest, greatest city in the world.

I used to wait cars at Pig ’n Whistle. I learned to be careful, and that everybody can love everybody if they want to.

One thing I can’t do without and I won’t do without: You can’t do without love. Without love, I ain’t had nothing. The secret of everything is love. ... Love is it.

The black and the white, we should love each other regardless of what color we are.

Most of my family is vegetarians.

I love Drakkar. It just has a subtle smell. It’s not over-sweet, it’s not over-done. It just barely comes after you.

My greatest extravagance back when I was young was clothing. I used to like the splash, ... the sparkle, the bling. ... My shoes, like now, I wear diamond shoes. ... But they’re not real diamonds. It’s the bling. Who’s gonna wear diamond shoes and get your leg taken off? Why should I wear a diamond hat and get my head taken off?

The worst sound of anything to me is evil. ... Hatred and animosity and evil, the sound that keeps everybody down.

Money is a necessity. We don’t get along with it and we can’t get along without it.

Death shakes all of us up.

Everybody in the South is not bad, and everybody in the North is not good.

I worry about people not fulfilling what God has put here for us to fulfill.

When a man is hungry, he don’t care whether the hand is black or white that brings that biscuit.

If a person is very serious in life, whatever he undertakes to do, he will do it with all of his heart and all of his might to make sure that it’s done right and done with class.

If you can’t take it, you can’t make it.

Interview by Joe Kovac Jr. To contact Kovac, call 744-4397.

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