Why Little Richard got mad with Jimi Hendrix when he was his guitarist

Little Richard was among the numerous performers that Jimi Hendrix played guitar for before he rose to prominence as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Hendrix, who was still going by Maurice James, joined Richard’s band in 1965 and collaborated with him on just one song, “I Don’t Know What You Got (But It’s Got Me)”.

Hendrix fired the guitarist due to repeated arguments between Richard and Hendrix about attire and stage manners. Graham Nash recalls seeing Little Richard and Jimi Hendrix fight after a show while still with The Hollies in an interview with Music Radar back in 2012.

Why Little Richard got mad with Jimi Hendrix when he was his guitarist according to Graham Nash:

“I first met Jimi in ’65. He was in Little Richard’s band at the time. This was at the Paramount Theatre in New York City, the Soupy Sales Easter Show. I’ll give you a story from my book: When we came to America for the very first time, we went to the Paramount Theatre where the gig was, and we thought we were going to do our set – 45 minutes of dynamite. ‘Which two songs are you were doing?’ we were asked. We were like, ‘What? Two songs?’ But there were 12 other acts on the bill, five shows a day – two songs. So that was a shock.”

“Little Richard closed the show, and we would watch him from the side of the stage. One night I heard this argument before they went on: ‘Don’t you ever fucking do that again! I’m Little Richard, the king of rock ‘n’ roll, you fucking guy! Stop playing your fucking guitar behind your fucking head!’ And he was yelling at Jimi. It was this argument as they got in the elevator to go up. The volume decreased as they went, but you could still hear them arguing. I can hear it now. So that was Jimi. It was obvious he was a talented guy.”

In the 1973 documentary about the guitarist, Little Richard talked about him, saying:

“He was a star. When I got him he was a star. Jimi Hendrix could play that Rock and Roll, I used to be singing, rocking away “Uh Uh Uh” and he had that thing just romping, At times he made my big toe shoot up in my boot, he did it so good. Jimi Hendrix’s perseverance to go on… he didn’t mind looking freaky like I don’t mind it, because I was doing before he was and I knew when he saw me gave him confidence and great recompense of reward. I had something to tell him and I never did, so now I have to talk about it and let him know that I knew he was gonna make it.”



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