You wouldn’t have thought that Keef likes to relax these days listening to Mozart and reading history books, wudjya ?
I’m not particularly a Rolling Stones fan. I don’t have a “Tongue” T-shirt or keyring. The last album I bought was “Undercover” and that after a missing a couple. I think the best stuff they ever did, with an odd exception, was with Mick Taylor. After that they didn’t quite cut it for me. But I was interested to read Keith Richards’ autobiography “Life”. I reckoned that if anybody has had an interesting rock ‘n’roll life it’s got to be Keith Richards.
Having read several musician bios and autobios they are generally an easy read and this is straight in the genre. His voice does come through though (written with the help of his journalist friend James Fox) and I suspect his “Ghost” probably did a lot of editing and pulling together. As you read this it is Keith you hear.
There is much about his drug addiction – obviously; his marriages (including Etta James !); his family; the early years; his brushes with the law and the press. But what really comes through for me is his love of music for the sake of it. He clearly just loves to play and has a great deal of respect for those who have earned their stripes in the biz and who are players themselves.
There are some particularly interesting moments around his love of Caribbean music and musicians as well as his tangles with Mick. He also has some interesting thoughts about Society and how it was challenged by all that was new in the 60’s. I guess you see it from a different perspective when you are a potential target, as Keith clearly believes he was for a long while – and with some justification.
And he is open about his propensity to have a temper and the descending of the “Red Mist”, as he calls it. But the furore over the Shepherd’s Pie was a bit petulant, Keith, wasn’t it ? A bit star-struck ? Grow up, man. Oh, and having said that, please don’t throw your knife at me.
Having read the book then – “Do I like Keith Richards ?” Actually, I think I do. I’d definitely want him on my side……..and I would NEVER touch his Shepherd’s Pie.