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Thread: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

  1. #21
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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    More on Gorgeous George's contribution.
    I hadn't realised that GG gave Jimi his first chance to go out on a tour.

    "...[Jimi] got his first taste of touring on a brief jaunt supporting the personality Gorgeous George,
    which led to a brief period playing with Hank Ballard and the Midnighters..."
    http://www.popmatters.com/pm/column/...alt-blackness/

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchives View Post
    Read "Harlem of the West", and John Goddard's recollection of the 1965 Fillmore Auditorium show with Little Richard. Goddard took the photo and even kept his 1965 calendar with all music shows he attended. http://harlemofthewestsf.ucsc.edu/
    Hi Steve
    Thanks for the info.

    Whether John Goddard attended a Little Richard concert at the Fillmore in 1965 and took photos is not really the root of the dispute.

    Great to hear that he "...kept his 1965 calendar of all music shows he attended" in 1965.

    Does this information mean that we can narrow this down to a picture taken at the Fillmore Auditorium in 1965? If so that definitely DOES does help us decide this. :-)

    But ...does that rule out this being a photo of the autumn/winter 1964 Sam Cooke tour?
    Did it also go to the Fillmore?

    If it didn't, then we can narrow this down to a pic from the Little Richard tour of Jan 1965.
    BUT... on that 1965 tour Gorgeous George was also on the bill.

    So...

    You had contact with GG Odell in 2008.
    Do you still have contact details?

    If so, can you perhaps send an email to Mr. Odell with this photo attached and ask him if the photo is of him and Jimi?
    That would sort of clinch it.

    It would be great if we could get this decided before Odell and Penniman pop their clogs, as we all must. I'm afraid time is running out...

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchives View Post
    Read "Harlem of the West", and John Goddard's recollection of the 1965 Fillmore Auditorium show with Little Richard. Goddard took the photo and even kept his 1965 calendar with all music shows he attended. http://harlemofthewestsf.ucsc.edu/
    Settled (finally) - thnx Steve!
    *** WATCH OUT FOR YOUR EARS !***

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Mysticbumwipe? says it all

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Quote Originally Posted by MourningStar View Post
    Settled (finally) - thnx Steve!
    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Stone View Post
    No I don't think it is quite settled yet. Over on the Little Richard forum there's a bit of debate, with at least one person thinking the singer in the photo may be too heavy for it to be Richard. I think the only way to really settle it is to interview Goddard in detail about the remaining questions and whether he thinks there's any chance he mislabled the photo and whether he has additional photos from that same show, with or without Jimi. (I'm pretty sure he does.) Does anyone have contact info for Goddard?

    I agree with Roland (thanks for your intellectuall support, man).
    The main reaction, as I understood it, on the Little Richard discussion board is that this isn't him.

    And asking Goddard isn't really going to solve anything as he is hardly an independant and unbiased 'witness' (;-).
    Think about it.
    Obviously, he's not going to come out of this looking too good if it turns out that this is a photo of Gorgeous George and Jimi.
    So he clearly will have an emotional attachment and an invested interest in this being regarded as Little Richard in the photo and sticking with that come what may.

    The most satisfactory and certain way to settle this would be to ask Gorgeous George if its himself in the photo.

    Steve Roby had contact details for G. George in 2008.
    I have asked him if he can send an email with the photo and ask him.

    (Asking Mr Penniman I don't think would be so conclusive).

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mysticbumwipe View Post
    And asking Goddard isn't really going to solve anything as he is hardly an independant and unbiased 'witness' (;-).
    Amendment/correction.
    I take that back. There clearly is one way asking Mr. Goddard could clinch this once and for all. And that would be if he has other photos of the same concert and the same man which clearly show it to be Little Richard.

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    It's a shame that we don't have more photos of Odell, I only know of one.

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mysticbumwipe View Post
    The most satisfactory and certain way to settle this would be to ask Gorgeous George if its himself in the photo.
    Hardly Mr Reliable

    Quote Originally Posted by Mysticbumwipe View Post
    (Asking Mr Penniman I don't think would be so conclusive).
    Why would he be any less "conclusive"?

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Roby's reply above is satisfactory enough for my interest. I can sleep at night now.
    *** WATCH OUT FOR YOUR EARS !***

    “We don’t want to be classed in any category.” -Jimi Hendrix

    "If you can play, you can play anything. I don't like classifications." - Buddy Rich

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Quote Originally Posted by MourningStar View Post
    Roby's reply above is satisfactory enough for my interest. I can sleep at night now.
    That was keeping you awake?

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Quote Originally Posted by purple jim View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MourningStar View Post
    Roby's reply above is satisfactory enough for my interest. I can sleep at night now.
    That was keeping you awake?
    Not you and everyone else too?!!!??? Afterall, this has to be the most vital and important topic to be posted on CTT, yes?

    *** WATCH OUT FOR YOUR EARS !***

    “We don’t want to be classed in any category.” -Jimi Hendrix

    "If you can play, you can play anything. I don't like classifications." - Buddy Rich

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    ^It doesn't keep me awake but I have terrible nightmares. I see Gorgeous George dressed in silver, coming towards me shouting "A wop bop a lula a wop bam boom!" and I just scream "No, you are Little Richard!!".
    I need help.

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mysticbumwipe View Post
    MBW: Did you check out the eyebrows difference?
    Look at Richard Penniman's eyebrows and then at George Odell's in the photos at this link. :-)


    MBW: First of all the guy in the photo does NOT have pencilled eyebrows(?)
    Secondly, the photo I put up for comparison very clearly shows Little Richard in Sept 1963.
    So you can see exactly how his eyebrows looked at the time of this photo
    (and they very clearly don't match, to my mind).





    MBW: I also don't think that is likely, (that he mistakenly took a photo of 'Gorgeous' George thinking it was Little Richard). I'm not suggesting that.
    What I DO think is possible, is that 48 years ago a fifities rock n roll fan took amateur photos of acts he saw at the time. Maybe tours seperately to or even tours with other acts on the same bill as Little Richard. Then years later he learnt that an 'unknown' Hendrix had played with Little Richard in the early sixties.
    So he goes through his photos to see if he had unknowingly taken any rare photos of Jimi Hendrix and Little Richard together and he finds this photo.
    Now, assuming he has more interest in Little Richard than anyone else, its no great stretch to imagine he mistakenly preferred to think this is Little Richard and Hendrix: a rare pairing of the 'originator' of 'Rock n' Rol'l with the 'originator' of 'Psychedelic Heavy Metal'. That would be more 'rare' and worthy in his and others eyes than a rare pairing of Hendrix with the relativley unknown and forgotten 'Gorgeous George'.

    Then, WITH THAT ASSUMPTION he puts it up in his shop window to attract punters.
    (Here's a pertinent question: does he sell copies?).

    And then, later again, someone (who had bought a copy?) takes a copy of the photo to Little Richard and asks him to sign it, which Richard does.
    Now I agree we could expect Richard to say:
    'Hey, that's not me. That's that guy Odell'.
    But we would have to know the circumstances of the signing.
    If Little Richard was surrounded by admirers and signing numerous autographs before he can get into his waiting limo, then its no stretch to assume he just signed what was put in front of him without taking much care or notice of what he was actually signing.

    Anyway, sure. Perhaps I am wrong to question this and this genuinely is Little Richard and Hendrix.
    But I still think its possible that its not, and what this demonstrates is that no-one now remembers poor 'Gorgeous George' Odell, even when confronted with a photo of him? :-(

    P.S.
    I think it perhaps helps to remember that just because someone was there does not mean their account is beyond question. ;-)
    E.g. Didn't Womack and Bill Wyman and others say they saw Hendrix set light to his guitar before he came to the UK. (Highly dubious).
    Ike Turner claims he remembers Hendrix playing with them and he fired him for playing too loud. (Highly dubious)
    Didn't Michael Lang say Hendrix entered the stage at the Miami Pop Festival by climbing down a rope ladder from a helicopter (a laughably absurd anecdote), etc., etc.
    KD: It's definitely Little Richard, and I'd also been in Village Music many times to talk to that guy who took the photos.
    This also BTW isn't the only photo he ever took of Little Richard - he had dozens of them and original posters in the shop too.
    Cool store - strange guy. Sort of an anti-social

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Quote Originally Posted by kdion11 View Post
    KD: It's definitely Little Richard, and I'd also been in Village Music many times to talk to that guy who took the photos.
    This also BTW isn't the only photo he ever took of Little Richard - he had dozens of them and original posters in the shop too.
    Cool store - strange guy. Sort of an anti-social
    well, there you have it. topic finished. now, on to the less important things in life ...
    *** WATCH OUT FOR YOUR EARS !***

    “We don’t want to be classed in any category.” -Jimi Hendrix

    "If you can play, you can play anything. I don't like classifications." - Buddy Rich

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    "...this also BTW isn't the only photo he ever took of Little Richard..." - Kdion
    He he. Ok.
    Right. So Goddard had loads of other pictures of Little Richard. Yes.
    Hmm? But ...ah, ...were they of the same concert?

    If not, how does that somehow prove that a picture –
    possibly of Jimi and Odell – is also really a pic of LR?! :-o.
    Erm...Interesting logic being applied here, Kdion.

    17th -19th April, 1965
    Little Richard plays the Paramount Theatre, New York.

    "The curtain opens and there's a huge golden throne
    and lots of red carpet and out come two belly dancers
    who couldn't belly dance their way out of anywhere,
    in amazing costumes.
    These four guys come out and one of them was Jimmy
    and he was really gorgeous with his long hair
    and played electric guitar in between the bellies."
    --Pat Hartley, model and friend of Hendrix
    Now just assume, for the sake of argument, the possibility
    that the outrageously and flamboyantly dressed, bewigged G.G Odell
    was one of those "four guys", and Goddard had taken a pic of that,
    which nearly a half century later he has forgotten the details of and decides is LR.
    How the hell are you or I going to know whether that is correct or not,
    seeing as how we know precious little about G.G Odell,
    or what he looked like when he did his act?
    You want to argue that we do know that, just by the undisputed fact
    that Goddard has taken other pics of LR over the years?!

    This may well be LR.
    I have always freely admitted that.
    But you guys need to take a course in logic if that's your best argument for that.

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mysticbumwipe View Post

    Now just assume, for the sake of argument, the possibility
    that the outrageously and flamboyantly dressed, bewigged G.G Odell
    was one of those "four guys",
    Absolutely impossible. With all that luxurious stage set up creating the anticipation for seeing the one-and-only Richard, there is no way he would've let George on stage dressed in such a flamboyant manner, to become the visual focal point. It's insane to think that. We know that Jimmy himself rubbed up against Richard because he wore shirts that were too "loud" (never mind the guitar).

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Quote Originally Posted by purple jim View Post
    Absolutely impossible. With all that luxurious stage set up creating the anticipation for seeing the one-and-only Richard, there is no way he would've let George on stage dressed in such a flamboyant manner, to become the visual focal point. It's insane to think that. We know that Jimmy himself rubbed up against Richard because he wore shirts that were too "loud" (never mind the guitar).
    We clearly don't understand the situation the same way, Purple Jim.

    Why do you assume that the belly dancer routine with "four guys" was part of Little Richard's act?

    And as for Odell upstaging Richard...
    Odell was on a tour with him.
    He had an act.
    He did his own act totally separate to Richard's.
    He warmed up the crowd BEFORE LR even came on the same stage.
    His act was being outrageously flamboyant and funny.
    He could also sing.
    He also had his own hit records.
    He was the MC. But what did that involve? Do you know?

    Jimi had just come off a tour in his band doing Odell's songs.
    So Jimi knew his material. Jimi was hired on the tour as Odell's "helper".

    That warm-up act with the belly dancers, why do you assume
    that had anything to do with Little Richard being on the same stage at the same time?
    That act may have had nothing to do with Odell either.
    Who knows.
    But the point is that the idea that nobody could do anything flash on the same tour is Richard seems to me to be quite wrong.

    So I think this whole thing about what people were allowed or not allowed to do with LR is being taken out of all proportion.
    Odell was paid to be outrageous and entertaining. That was his job.
    There is no conflict with him doing that because it would be upstaging Richard.
    On the contrary, he was hired to do exactly that (be outrageous, flamboyant and entertaining).
    If anything LR learnt from Odell a great deal and probably got Odell to make him some amazing outfits like his own.
    If you doubt that,look at this clip of Little Richard on tour in berlin in May 1964 to get some idea of his act just prior to the '65 tour with Odell and Jimi.


    He's still wearing ordinary suits as he had been in the fifties.

    And look at his band. He has two guitarists, bass and a drummer plus a horn section. If this is the band that Jimi was allowed to sit in with on the tour and later join then Richard would have had THREE guitarists counting Jimi.
    That's a backing band of nine people, (see the following quote from Sando, who says he had two 'lead' guitarists which implies a rhythym guitarists also)

    Here's another film from July, just five months before he lets Odell and Jimi join a tour with him:
    Look how 'straight' he is. He's still wearing a shirt and tie:


    What's that got to do with an act of four guys and two belly dancers?
    So since when did LR ever have a band of just four members?
    His horn section alone was usually "four guys".


    "I first met Jimmy in Atlanta Georgia where he was stranded wih no money.
    He had been working as a guitarist with a feller called Gorgeous george,
    a black guy who sported a blond wig and wore these fabulous clothes
    which he had made himself."
    -- Little Richard
    "He (Odell) was the kind of cat who needed no rehearsal.
    He would go up there and put on a show.
    Jimmy learned from a cat with that much courage..."
    --Larry Lee
    And Jim was allowed to do his thing ON STAGE with Richard and be the centre of attention, (once Richard got over the surprise of being upstaged one time).

    Marquette (little Richard's road manager):
    "Richard used to allow him [Jimi] to do that playing with his teeth onstage, and take solos.
    It became a part of the act, all that playing behind his back and stuff..."
    "My band, The Raghoos, played at a club in Greenwood lake, NY. There were many clubs there and once we saw Little Richard and his band at the Long Pond Inn. He had a big band with horns and two lead guitarists. To the left was Jimi, with a sort of processed Beatle haircut and Beatle boots, as we called them at the time. Right away I knew there was something special about this guy – his playing was unique, so fluid and thematic. He even did his playing with his teeth!"
    -- Peter Sando
    You seem to think the LR tour was just a tour with one band on the bill, Little Richard's.
    I humbly suggest to you that is a false and misleading assumption.
    Wasn't it you yourself who pointed out that in one pic of that tour
    you can even see the bass drum of the King Curtis band?
    On at least some of the dates that is very clearly and definitely
    NOT the case that it was just Richard and his band.

    E.g. how about the gig where LR was threatened by the organiser
    with a gun under his chin in the lift with Jim, Chas Chandler + Eric Burdon present.
    Do you know if any other bands were on the same stage that night?
    Check it out and get back to me with your best shot of who else was on the bill, how many other acts on that night.

    Jimi is on record as saying on his tours he oftened played behind many of the acts on the same bill.
    Look how he sat in with that women singer Ellen Mc Ilwaine at the same time when he was playing there with the Blue Flames supporting John Hammond at the Cafe Au Go Go in 1966.
    Jimi sat in with so many bands in the UK in '66 and '67, often just playing bass. I've got friends who witnessed him doing that at clubs in london. He loved to play along with whoever.
    And we know that even afer he hit the big time he liked to sit in with other acts and play a more or less supporting role (e.g. Delaney Bramlett's band for three weeks in.

    " This guy [Odell] was on tour with BBKing, Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke,
    you know, and ALL THESE PEOPLE.
    So I was playing guitar behind
    a lot of the acts on the tour"
    --Jimi Hendrix

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    John Goddard was a huge Little Richard and took the 1965 Fillmore photo along with several others at the San Leandro gig that followed. (See BJH for dates.) GG was not on the same bill with Little Richard in 1965.

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchives View Post
    John Goddard was a huge Little Richard [fan] and took the 1965 Fillmore photo along with several others at the San Leandro gig that followed. (See BJH for dates.) GG was not on the same bill with Little Richard in 1965.
    Really? If so then I surrender.
    When was George Odell the MC then, with Jimi as his helper and as valet to Richard? What tour was that?
    Henry Nash, talking about after a gig in December 1964, Greenville, South Carolina:
    "After the concert that night, we went to an after-hours club and began working on the after-the-concert date.
    George talked me into allowing Jimmy to sit in with The Upsetters.
    He played the entire night with only five strings on his guitar. He made a good impression on the band though and they welcomed having him on the stage with them. So throughout the tour, whenever he would have after-hour dates to play, Jimmy would ask to sit in and I would allow him to."
    George is clearly on the tour at this point.

    Jimi became a full-time member in January 1965.
    "He wanted to come with me, so Bumps (Blackwell) rang his folks back in Seattle .. to see if it was OK... He wasn't playing my kind of music though. He was playing like BB King blues. He started rocking though, and he was a good guy. he began to dress like me and he even grew a little moustache like mine"
    --Little Richard
    Does this mean Odell left then (Jan '65)
    and that's why they rang and asked Al hendrix if it was OK for Jimi to come on a tour alone (i.e. without Odell)?

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    Re: George Odell (or Richard Penniman)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mysticbumwipe View Post
    We clearly don't understand the situation the same way, Purple Jim.

    Why do you assume that the belly dancer routine with "four guys" was part of Little Richard's act?
    I assume that simply because the stage set featured a RED CARPET and THRONE. Obviously, what Hartley saw was part of the show by Little Richard and his ROYAL COMPANY.

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