- Published: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2010.
- Year Published: 2010
- Edition: 1st ed.
- Description: 564 p.,  p. of plates : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 25 cm.
- Language: English
- Format: Book
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Call number: 782.421 Ri
Available Copies: Downtown 3rd Floor, Pittsfield Adult, West Adult
Autobiography of the guitarist, songwriter, singer, and founding member of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards. With the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards lived the original rock and roll life. He tells his story of life in the crossfire hurricane; his listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records, learning guitar and forming a band with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, the Rolling Stones' first fame and the notorious drug busts that led to his enduring image as outlaw folk hero, creating immortal riffs like the ones in "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Honky Tonk Women." He discusses falling in love with Anita Pallenberg and the death of Brian Jones, his tax exile in France, wildfire tours of the U.S., isolation and addiction, as well as falling in love with Patti Hansen, and his bitter estrangement from Jagger and subsequent reconciliation. He talks about his marriage, family, solo albums and Xpensive Winos; the road that goes on forever.
First, it's practically stream-of-consciousness and Richards writes as though he is speaking... and still high. He's very hard to follow.
Second, the Rolling Stones were not a band I listened to and were in their heyday before my time anyway, so most of the music that he is talking about is fairly unfamiliar to me in the first place. This would be OK except that...
Third, Richards writes with the clear assumption that you pretty much already know the general storyline of his life. For example, he tells a story about one over-the-top party that was busted by the police with reporters waiting just outside, and says, essentially, "It was nothing like what they said it was. That thing with the Mars Bar was just ridiculous." Ummmm... sorry? What thing with the Mars Bar?
Fourth, I think I'm not enough of a musician to appreciate a *whole* lot of the music that he talks about, from the musicians he admired and emulated to the way he used open tuning to create certain sounds. I suspect that musicians and performers would get a LOT more out of this book than I did.
All that being said, I read it through to the end because it was still interesting, and because his wild life was fascinating to follow. I don't have a lot of respect for the guy personally (his perspective on his drug use is hard for me to swallow), but his musical genius seems genuine. There are other audiences that would enjoy this book a lot more than I did, and I'm happy it's here for them. It mostly just wasn't my thing, though I'm glad I stuck with it.
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