Did Little Richard Give Someone a Box Filled With Feces?
Little Richard was a legendary classic rock star who lived a fascinating life, however, one anecdote takes the cake. According to a famous story, Little Richard once gave someone a box filled with his feces. Here’s a look at this story — and whether or not it is true.
How Little Richard’s neighbor reacted when he gave her a box filed with feces for her birthday
Rock stars are known for wild behavior. This was always the case — even from the early rock stars of the 1950s. From Elvis Presley’s scandalous dance moves to Jerry Lee Lewis’ marriage to his young cousin, rock stars who became famous in the 1950s set the tone for the entire genre. If a famous story about Little Richard is true, he made his own contribution to the history of rock ‘n’ roll scandals with an infamous box — before he was even a rock star.
In Charles White’s book The Life and Times of Little Richard: The Authorized Biography, Little Richard discussed an anecdote from his childhood. Sometimes, he would gift people rocks, but he once did something a little more scatological than that. “I had a bowel movement in a box, a shoebox or something like that and I packed it up like a present and gave it to an old lady next to Mathis Groceries, on Monroe Street, in Pleasant Hill,” he recalled.
Her name was Ms. Ola and Little Richard gave her the box on her birthday. She accepted the box happily and thanked Little Richard for it. Afterward, he waited near her house to hear her reaction after she opened the box. She screamed and threatened to kill Little Richard. He laughed “like a cuckoo.” Although Little Richard liked Ms. Ola, he still found the incident funny decades after it happened.
Is this story true?
Was this anecdote true? According to The Guardian, Little Richard discussed White’s book after its publication. “I got so much publicity – the book is bigger overseas than here,” he said. “It’s a great book… it’s the truth about my life and thinking. I don’t know how you put this, ’cause I don’t want to hurt [White]. Some of the things accredited to me I didn’t say. I never fought it. I appreciate it… This man left his business [to do the book]; he’s a foot doctor. Travelled all over the world.” To be clear, Little Richard did not disclose precisely which parts of the book were false.
So was the story about the box true? In 2010, The New York Times recounted it as if it were true. It said the anecdote was a “miracle” which set the tone for the rest of Little Richard’s career. Regardless of the veracity of the story, it’s one of the most memorable in the history of rock ‘n’ roll.