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4.2 out of 5 stars
Life
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on January 11, 2012
The only bad thing was the first attempt at buying this was that part of it was not there. To explain: of the 20 CDs that make up this audiobook I received #1-13 and then #1-7 again... so I was short #14-20. Amazon did make it as easy as possible to get a replacement, which did have all CDs #1-20.
Now for the review. I am only half was through but am finding this audiobook to be excellent. While the story does seem to ramble there is a rough chronological order,but I really wouldn't expect anything different from Keith Richards. The larger part of this collection of thoughts and happenings is read by Johnny Depp , which adds a great flair. With the other readers thrown in adds a great balance. Keith even reads some himself, which is very easy to understand (despite reputation),and adds some of the best emphasis to the words. His story is a fantastic modern history lesson of changing times. It shows what a little luck and a lot of determination will do for you. Looking very forward to hearing the rest of the story.
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on December 29, 2010
I highly recommend the book. I basically could not put it down and read it non-stop - other than sleeping and eating - until I finished it. Richards reminds me a fellow I used to work with many years ago who recently passed away, so it was nice to read it for that reason as well.

He was pretty honest about his bad temper, and there are other things there if read between the lines. He spares no one, including himself.

I play bass guitar (dabble maybe?) so I found the guitar technique and tuning talk very interesting as well. The ego growth that occurs in groups like that - mainly with Mick Jagger - is a common tale. The great news is that they survived it, but it killed groups like Pink Floyd when Roger Waters decided that he was the group.

There are certain people I'd like to have met who are no longer with us, and at I'd add Keith Richards to that list, but the still living list. I'll never meet him with the circles he travels in and the much smaller circle that I travel in, but it's a nice thought.
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on March 4, 2011
Once you figure out the writing style - meaning that thoughts will be completed eventually in the next few pages, the book becomes a great read. For any rock musician or guitar player it's a must read as the Stones have been blazing trails since day one. This book covers that trail and if only 50% of it is true, well worth reading. Personnally what has he got to lose, he's sharing a life spent in truly remarkable times, much of it under the influence with the cashflow to keep it going. Like Eric Clapton mention's in his book about putting a palm tree on stage for a leaning post so he wouldn't fall into the crowd, these were the times when the record and management companies had their own rules.

The players, the sessions, the interaction between members, it's the best I've read about "Life" as a key member of one of worlds top rock bands. Given that the writing is crude at times (and written from Keith's viewpoint) it's given me a greater appreciation for what the Stones have done for rock music.
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on March 8, 2011
Has anyone else read both Keith and Slash's books and find that there are so many parallels? Both are lead guitarists in famous bands who have serious addictions and also have lead singers who are also their lyricists who take advantage of their drug addled states financially? My thoughts when reading this were that he read Slash's book and decided to write his own. I also got bored wiht the continual banter about going cold turkey only to start using again but you know what? That was their life and we wanted to read about it! Makes a person really glad to not be a junkie. What I do love is the honesty because if the book was all about the music it wouldn't be genuine, we all heard about the rumors of their love/hate relationship and now we know its all true. I love how he dishes on Mick. All in all it was a bit erratic in it's style but then I am hoping that is because it was a true autobiography and the ghost writer did not put his slant on it? He sounds like a good-hearted bloke actually.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2011
This was a Christmas gift for my husband. He started reading it Christmas morning and mentioned several times what an amazing book it was.
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on April 4, 2011
This is a rollicking good read,full of gossip and re-telling of famous incidents that are the stuff of rock and roll legend. But Keith Richards brings much more to the table here: sensitive and affectionate recollections of a Dartford childhood and the family members who inspired and encouraged his early love of music. He comes across as rather wise - someone who hasn't lost his head on the road to fame and riches. Yes, there is epic drug abuse, and he chronicles this with honesty and sometimes wry humour. But throughout the book it is clear that, for Keith Richards, the journey has never been primarily about the money... the women... the hedonism... or the celebrity. It has been about the music. 'Life' is a fast and fascinating read for anyone interested in rock history. I love the ending, and how he brings his story right back to Dartford with the passing of his mother and a delightful memory of her 'first review' of his music. I closed the book thinking, "I like this man".
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on May 21, 2015
I was very excited to read Keefs bio. Having read many other books on the stones I thought this is gonna be great. I read the Tony Sanchez book and it was hilarious. I thought this would make that look like a folk dance but no, what you get is a very dry book that merely scratches the surface about things. Keith had an opportunity to tell some really great stories about the events in his life with the stones and the multitude of characters and celebs he bumped into along the way. The tour the band did with Capote hanging around with them alone probably had some great stuff worth telling. The trip to the playboy mansion and countless other things these guys ran into thru the years would have made for some really funny and entertaining reading. Basically its a book about nothing we haven't heard before. In fact it reads like someone else culled together facts from prior articles. Oh well perhaps when you get old and mellow you want to pretend that crazy stuff didnt happen.
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on February 9, 2011
As a guitarist marching through Keith Richards' 500 page autobiographic tome I was fascinated by his description of the growth and development of his music. I knew the Stones were innovative but Richards' book explains in detail his creative process and the direction of his musical evolution.
I'm not sure how long he took to write the book but it seems that his style changed somewhere near the middle; from hip flippant to more structured insight.
I only began the book as it was recommended by the lead guitarist of our university R&R band, The Rockingham Whigs. Music is important in life but where as Richards lives it intensely, I simply enjoy it.
Perhaps because of my own prickly experimentation with recreational drugs as a youth and band member, I cringed reading his delve into narcotics. Too blunt or too close to home?
Keith Richards lives for his music and the world is richer for it. Highly recommended for all musicians literal or otherwise.
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It's a must-read for music fans and musicians and anyone interested in the 60s and 70s, the way the world was changing and the way the change was heralded by rock and roll. Keith captures it all, as well as being charming and funny, risque and out there, he was intelligent and paying attention. He marvels at a group of legal types who sit down with the Stones and ask them what they want, for all the world as if they are dangerous revolutionaries. Then he expounds on the benefits of 5-string open G tuning. I only wish this book came with MP3s so we could have examples of all the music and the chords he is playing, and also of his musical inspirations and sources. I can Google them, but I can't find the exact sounds Keith is referencing. There's a lot of personal detail, too, his life and loves, but he never once loses his focus on his music. Inspiring, and amazing, the time he and Mick spent on creating that sound. This book is everything it should be.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2010
Rock & Roll, or, Rythm & Blues was new in the 60s in Brittain and The Rolling Stones popularized it all over the world, also outside the black community, where is has been developed first. Mick Jagger as lead singer and 'salesman', Keith Richards as scholar and architect of the music and above all innovative guitar player. Mick slept with the girls, Keith with the guitars (literally!). His side of the almost 50 year story is lively and honest, so it seems. He states that his drug addiction (until the 80's) contributed to his survival, althought he was on the 'death list' top ten for many years. A fascinating story, comparable with Voyage au bout de la nuit of Céline. Every Stones fan is inspired in some way in his/her own life. In my case in studying and popularizing the science and application of positive reinforcement for a better world.
Dr. Marius Rietdijk, VU University Amsterdam.
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