William Klein The Little Richard Story 1980

William Klein
The Little Richard Story 1980

© William Klein

Klein goes on the hunt for Little Richard, the legendary ‘Architect of Rock and Roll’, who quit show business in 1957 at the height of his fame to become an evangelist. Richard was then lured back to secular music in the 1960s and 70s, but the excesses of stardom led him to a second retreat from the stage. For years he struggled to reconcile his religious calling with his flamboyant rock-and-roll persona, and at the time of filming, Klein finds Little Richard selling ‘Black Heritage Bibles’ for a Nashville couple. Sensing that his image is being exploited, Richard quits his sales position and deserts the film. But Klein turns this into an opportunity to reconstruct Richard’s personality through the words of his family and friends in his native Macon, Georgia, and to celebrate his status as a cultural icon by filming scores of Little Richard impersonators and adoring fans in Hollywood.

Introduced by artist Mark Leckey, winner of the 2008 Turner Prize

This event is related to the exhibition William Klein + Daido Moriyama