Rick James‘ new documentary, “Bitchin: The Sound and Fury of Rick James,” revealed that the singer-songwriter’s drug use ultimately helped Lionel Richie‘s career.
This Tuesday, James’ highly-anticipated documentary, “Bitchin: The Sound and Fury of Rick James,” made its debut at the TriBeCa Film Festival, and in it, there was an interesting revelation. Gordy, the oldest son of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, shared how James responded to his low sales for his 1982 album “Throwin’ Down.”
According to Gordy, James went into Motown President Jay Lasker‘s office to give them his next LP. After that, he poured cocaine onto Lasker’s desk, snorted it, and then jumped onto the desk. He then pulled his penis out and shoved it in his Lasker’s face, yelling, “Sell my goddamn record!”
Following the ordeal, Gordy simply said “Lionel Richie” after James left the room, and that was his way of allegedly saying the label would now focus on Richie’s career, ultimately killing James’. Keyboardist Levi Ruffin Jr. said cocaine use was very regular. “There was plenty of dope around,” said Ruffin Jr., “I think I snorted everything on God’s planet Earth when I was in the band.”
There’s also a snippet of archival footage that includes James opening up about the number of drugs he and his music group would use. “We were f–king standing on the verge of insanity in those days. Everybody was snorting cocaine. Everybody was taking quaaludes, drinking Cristal and Dom Perignon champagne, and getting butt naked and doing it in the bathroom.”