Customer Review

258 of 280 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars ... 3 stars ... 2 stars, November 5, 2010
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This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
The first third of the book is absolutely fantastic. Keith Richards chronicles his childhood and the formation of the band with lots of personality and charm. Highly recommended. I really couldn't put the book down.

The book loses steam in the middle third -- the drugged-out 70s. I wish a little more time was spent talking about the music. When he *does* write about how songs come together, or about musical insights he has (like discovery open tuning), it's great reading. The sections where his son Marlon talks about life on the road with his dad are interesting. But much of the middle just gets bogged down in all the drugs, the drug busts, the cold turkey sessions, etc. Yeah OK, that was his life, but they were still making records, and a better balance of material about the band and the music would have been a nice respite from all the drugs.

It gets a bit better when he's writing about the late-80s/90s - the split with Mick and their respective solo careers.

But the final section just falls apart. It reads like the anecdotes that celebrities tell on talk shows. "Ah, the funniest thing happened at my daughter's wedding ...." "The crew found a puppy hanging around near the stage ...." "You wouldn't believe the enormous snapping turtle ...."

And there are some odd omissions: Bill Wyman is barely mentioned, which is fine, but more explanation is needed. Some of the biggest Stones albums are glossed over in half a page. Great songs like Shattered and Some Girls aren't even mentioned. The mixing and release of Tattoo You is barely discussed (if at all ... I don't recall now).

So 5 stars for the first third / 3 stars for the middle / 2 for the end.
Still worth it, especially for Stones fans.
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Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 39 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 30, 2010 6:02:32 PM PST
Bodhi says:
Tom,
Good post. I'm almost halfway through this book and I can see where your coming from. When I read the first chapter, on the Arkansas adventure, I was laughing so hard I couldn't stop. I thought..."man if the rest of the book is like this, I'll never get any sleep".
Again, good review.
Thanks.

Posted on Dec 5, 2010 11:16:28 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Sep 10, 2011 7:21:44 PM PDT]

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 8:45:59 AM PST
I like the fact that Keith leaves other people's stories mostly untold, so they can tell them for themselves. Bill has, after all, written one book (and no doubt wants the royalties for it), and could write another. This isn't Keith's first book, so some of the stuff you seek may be in his other books (I think there are two). But certainly, for a view on Wyman, read Wyman's book. I think Keith subtly expresses some things about Wyman, but perhaps wants to let sleeping dogs lie. The fact that he touches on his problems with Mick seems to be about all the personal relationship reflection he think the book needs (I personally love how the book just rocks and rolls from topic to topic; Anita appears, Keef likes Anita, they get it on, they simply stay together for a good amount of time - but aside from saying he likes strong difficult women, there's no analysis - because that's not how it went down, there was no analysis of why they got together then, and none now).

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2010 8:50:41 AM PST
He explains it pretty carefully. They *are* using needles, but they aren't mainlining, they are using intramuscular injections. Both are called shooting up, as they involve needles (and hence the needles littering about), but only one is mainlining. He spends more than a paragraph explaining this, but you have to remember it for later. There's no inconsistency. He explains this long about Chapter 5 or 6, can't remember exactly (probably 6). They start out snorting, he explains that you get more bang for your buck with mainlining, but he can't afford the track lines and he is a bit squeedged about by the idea. As any nurse or doctor knows, it's way easier to give intramuscular injections (and also explains why Keith didn't die when he started using dirty heroin, at least in part).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2011 7:37:25 PM PST
Lord David says:
"noticed some inconsistencies, such as his statement about never "mainlining," but then talk about "shooting" in the bathroom"

Mister Richards clearly & repeatedly states that he injected drugs into his muscle area, a practice generally used for inoculation. Mainlining is the practice of injecting directly in to a vein, which he also mentions as something he never did.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2011 9:59:18 PM PST
Exactly! Glad to see that people can still read English!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2011 5:57:20 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Sep 10, 2011 7:21:59 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2011 6:06:08 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Sep 10, 2011 7:22:09 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2011 2:02:29 PM PST
Wow. Actually, since I get email updates to this thread, it only takes about 45 seconds to respond. I was simply being factual. Early in the book he explains the difference in forms of injection, which I found interesting and informative. It's hardly criminal oversight, but since you dinged the book for it, deserves a response from someone who truly enjoyed the book. I find book writing much more difficult than reviewing or responding on a discussion board, quite frankly. This is easy stuff. I'm surprised you'd write a review and then take responses to it so personally.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2011 5:37:04 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Sep 10, 2011 7:22:18 PM PDT]
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