LIFE - Keith Richards

Recently published autobiography of The Stones guitarist.
Item added by Djahuti. Added on 03/30/2011
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FranksWildYear s

LIFE - Keith Richards 5

One of my great guilty pleasures is reading crap like this and though I know I should spend more time reading stuff of greater substance, I can't resist a good rock and roll story book. Keith delivers.

Where the book shines are the parts where Richards talks about what got him and Jagger and Brian Jones hooked on the blues and how their musical evolution took place. He does a great job at expressing his love for music and how he learned to play, the points where he and the band made great leaps forward, the discovery of different guitar tunings and playing styles and it affected the music the band made. I particularly loved the detail he went into about the period where they were producing their master work Exile on Main Street.

I got a little worried when I read the first chapter, a detailed account of a drug bust in the American south. I was prepared for a dissapointing read of drug-fueled heroics by an unrepentant junkie. That is there, but it's not the point of the book.

What the book isn't is a detailed account of the history of the Rolling Stones. There are parts that are well documented, but parts that are passed over with barely a mention. He talks a lot about the decline of Brian Jones but his dismissal and death get a cursory reference. He talks about how great a player Mick Taylor was and how the playing between the two of them raised the band's game in general, but then barely mentions him again. I'm not sure from the book whether he knew Bll Wyman any better than he knew the secretary of the Rolling Stones Fanclub.

It's Keith Richards's personal story. It's all about Keith and you should know that going in. There are the saucy rumour mill things that a book like this must have in order to move copies down at Barnes and Noble. He's appropriately open and circumspect but not too sensationalistic. Anita Pallenberg gets more ink than most of the rest of the band, save Mick Jagger.

Jagger comes off as a strange cross of brother/doppleganger/lover and their relationship is appropriately cast as one of the great artistic curiousities of all time.

Towards the end he becomes what sounds strangely like a typical family man with the same sorts of things that you and I deal with, just a little more rock star oriented.

A must read for fans, a bit of a slog for the casual reader I'm sure.

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LIFE - Keith Richards 5

Right around the time I first dipped into Keefs 547 page life story,I read a review in (I think) the London Times Book Review by a woman who really did not like this book.She even admitted that she "wasn't the one" who should be reviewing it,but went on to trash it for sexism (or what she percieved as such) and "bragging". I'm here to say that she was damn right she was not fit for the job !!! The book is very candid,and he is quite open and honest about everything from his drug use & arrests (that's how he starts the story),his family history & formative years,his career as a Rolling Stone & eventual falling out with Jagger,his side projects & all kinds of crazy stuff that happens to a rock n roller on the road.He is also entertaining as hell.You feel as if you've met him.Other critics have also made silly bones that Richards "didn't write it himself",as if he should have sat down in front of THEM with a pen & reams of paper to satisfy their sorry ass.OF COURSE he had some help putting it together,editing,etc.,SO WHAT ? It's obviously still the authentic "word from the horses mouth" and an excellent read for any Stones fan or musician who has done a bit of touring themselves.The anecdotes are tremendous,as are his recollections of other fabled musicians such as his buddies Grahm Parsons & Bobby Keyes.What I found very intriguing was his insights & opinions about recording and his tid bits of advice on playing.The dialogue wanders amiably through many subjects,even a few recipes.I came away from it with the feeling that the guy has a real heart & soul,and a great gift of gab,unlike many of his critics.

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