Geo’s Media Blog (R I P It Up) New 5/18/20

Sadly, Little Richard, (pictured on top) recently passed away. Not only was he a huge star, but he was also the inspiration for other big stars like Elvis and the Beatles. Hell, even the famous guitar rift from Roy Orbison’s, “Pretty Woman” came from his big hit, “Lucille.” Little Richard who appeared to be very flamboyant, was actually very shy once the lights went down, showed us through his actions, that the words, “The greater the artist, the greater the person, are actually true.
The following is how Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes (pictured above) remembers him.

I met Little Richard twice. Once, for 30 seconds in an elevator – Hyatt/Riot House LA on Sunset in 1990 with fellow Crowe, Chris Robinson. Little Richard Immediately, said, “Y’all must be in a band!” Chris said, “Yes, sir! And we’re from Georgia! The Black Crowes. “Richard said, “Oh, y’all, the ones that do the Otis song? I love that!” He hugged us both and wished us well and then the elevator stopped, he walked off, and we were left speechless.

Flash forward ten years later –  Kennedy Center Honors in 2000. Don Was put us on the show honoring Chuck Berry.
Richard walks into the rehearsal room, the night before. Says his hellos to everyone and then zooms in on Chris and me and says, “Hello, Black Crowes – you probably won’t even remember this, but we met on an elevator years ago!”
Again, we’re speechless, but I manage to say, “Yeah, we remember …I just can’t believe you do!” He says, “Y’all did Otis so proud, he was my little brother…I loved that man so much!”
Then he sits down at the piano and busts into ‘These Arms Of Mine’….it sounds EXACTLY like Otis. I mean, he’s CHANNELING OTIS REDDING.

These arms of mine, they are lonely
Lonely and feeling blue.”

It was mind-blowing. The whole room is still. No one moves. I glanced at Steve Jordan, and we shared a “Holy Shit this Is actually happening” look. Richard ran through the form twice, then stopped and said, “Y’all don’t want any more of that, do you?” laughing.
Everyone in the room (G.E. Smith, Steve Jordan, me, CR, RR, Don Was, The B-52’s) yells, “YES! More! Keep going!”
He laughs again …No, no, that’s enough, let’s do what we’re here to do.” He killed us all. He knew it. And he left it there.

After that, we had a solid hour of hang/rehearsals before he got up to leave, saying, “I gotta go now! Y’all be ready tomorrow, ’cause I’m sure gonna SHOW UP!” and walked out of the room.

I didn’t see him the next day except for onstage during the performance.
I originally went to DC excited and honored to shake a tambourine for Chuck Berry, but I left DC with my mind spinning over Little Richard and the fact that for an hour or so, I was standing next to a nuclear reactor.
My entire body was buzzing the whole time he was in that room with us. Head to toe…on fire.

I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like to see this man on a stage when he first showed up in the 1950s….but I can tell you that in the year 2000 it was still a visceral experience that goes well beyond my feeble attempt to describe.
Steve Gorman
The Black Crowes

GEO’S LIFE-LINES
Is there anything more archaic then our school system?
 
If I lived in New York or California, I’d be pissed; they pay about the same in taxes as Canadians do but don’t get the free health care. 
 
What’s the sense of having a good-paying job in LA or New York if they take most of your pay for rent. 
 
Being a great athlete doesn’t mean that you’re also a great person, nor does putting an R or D in front of your name. 
 
Right or wrong isn’t black or white; it’s mostly grey. 
 
I figure that the only way to stop drugs is by killing all the Cartel bosses, hell the CIA kills a lot of people all over the world, why not some more deserving. 
 
I find it intriguing that JFK got us into Viet Nam, LBJ escalated it, but Nixon gets blamed for it. 
 
Have you noticed that the lower the rate, the harder it is to get a loan? 
 
At this very moment, most people would rather be somewhere else. 
 
Whatever happened to Harry and Meghan? 
 
Guys are fools; there is no woman out there that is going to understand or love you better than your first love. However, by the time you finally realize it, unfortunately, you’re gonna be broke. 
 
Have you ever noticed that sexual accusers are always from the other party? 
 
Wow, who in their right mind would think that Jerry Lee Lewis would end up being the last man standing? 
 
Things always turn out best for people who are the best at something. 
 
Why do singers talk so much? Stick with the gift, man! 
 
Every time an air talent cracks the mic, not only are they a few good words away from becoming a part of somebody’s life, but they also may be moments away from becoming successful. You never know who’s listening.
 
Sometimes, changing for change sake is good for a change. 
 
There are two parts to time, the moment before and the moment after.

The only people in show biz who think they don’t need a script are radio people.

Unfortunately, because of overuse, the word racist is fast becoming a buzz word and will probably fall by the wayside as has, dope, sick, crazy, epic, down with it, right on, far out, cool man, swing daddy, go cat go, not to mention, see you later alligator.

Wow, Jeff Bezos (Amazon) is about to become the world’s first trillionaire. Only in America baby!

COMMENTS

Jed Duvall: George:  I saw on the P.B.S. “Frontline” program a few years back, on “Why the Towers Fell,” that there was foreign footage (probably Pakistani) of Osama bin Laden discussing that his intention of flying planes into The World Trade Center Towers was to set them on fire and create widespread panic.  Apparently, bin Laden thought that since the 1993 bombing left the bombed tower standing, that the buildings were too strong to completely takedown.  He then started praising Allah that he, bin Laden, had the good fortune to hit the towers in a weak point such that they were completely destroyed.  A tragic design flaw that at the end of the program, the lead architect stated, almost in tears on camera, as the program closes, that he never thought that he had to design the towers to withstand an airliner crash, as the buildings were designed around a central elevator / HVAC core with everything else hanging off stringers from that core and the exterior with minimal structural support.  The World Trade Center Towers were not built like The Chrysler Building or The Empire State Building. (Necessity Is A Mutha)

Geo: Scary times for sure, Jed, but not as scary as now.

Doug Chappell: George, I learned a big lesson playing in a band and later in the record biz…the best players are not always the best bandmates. You are on stage for about an hour but have to live and deal with the other band members for the other 23. I learned to never replace an adequate player that is a great bandmate with a great one because it can break the “one for all and all for one” feeling. (Here’s To The Phantoms)

Doug Thompson: Ah Donnie Burns…what stories we could all tell about Donnie. A short stint at CHUM Toronto (where I worked with him), then became a legend at CKGM Montreal, and again at CHFI Toronto (he owned afternoon ratings for several years)—all the while voicing national spot after national spot after national spot.  Donny was so cool. I worked with him again when I was Creative Director at Telemedia Network Radio in Toronto.  Again….stories!  Hope you’re well, George. (Here’s To The Phantoms)

Geo: I am well, Dougie. Who would have thought that Donnie, me, and the guy that booked the Phantoms, John Wood, would end doing well in the radio biz? When we all worked together in the band days, our eventually working in radio never came up.

Dave Charles: What a combination, being in a band and radio!  That way, you get the best of everything, right George. Great to get a sense of your history. (Here’s To The Phantoms)

Geo: An evil combination, Dave, that’s for sure. 🙂 Thanks for the read and the comment.

James Molly: Bob Marks sends me your stuff, and I enjoy the content AND the humor! Thank you, & keep ’em coming! (The Economy)

Geo: Thanks to you for the read, James, and thanks to Bob for the shares.

Geo’s Media Blog is an inside look at Radio, Music, Movies, and Life. For a sneak peek at some upcoming Blogs or to see some that you may have missed, go to Geo’s Media Blog GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.

.

2 thoughts on “Geo’s Media Blog (R I P It Up) New 5/18/20

  1. As always, nice story, George!

    As I told Little Richard during my 2005 interview with him, the words “genius,” “icon,” etc. are WAY over used, but he truly was all of them. A reminder that you can hear the real depth of Little Richard at the end of my “Hangout” with legendary East Coast jock Joey Reynolds from May 2020. The interview was from my decade as morning guy at KOOL 94.5 Phoenix. Hear it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsrSTxxc57E

  2. Great story by Steve Gorman. I can only imagine the feeling and I have been in the presence of many, many stars, Little Richard and Elvis are the two I would have loved to have met.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *