Richard once told me. “I am really the Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll. But I can’t say that.”

I photographed him, in concert, several times in the 70s. I remember telephoning him at his hotel. I thought the voice that picked up was his stage manager until, twenty minutes into that even longer conversation, I realized it was Richard himself. He wasn’t putting on a performance. It was amazing to be talking to the “real” Richard Penniman. He was speaking in earnest — about preaching, about his alter-ego, his alternative guise as a performer. He was conflicted. In the last part of that conversation Richard described to me how he taught Paul McCartney how to scream.

Man-O-man did he have fun on stage.

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© 1972 Tom Zimberoff / All Rights Reserved
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© 1972 Tom Zimberoff / All Rights Reserved
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© 1972 Tom Zimberoff / All Rights Reserved

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