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Life Paperback – May 3, 2011
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"[A] high-def, high-velocity portrait of the era when rock 'n' roll came of age, a raw report from deep inside the counterculture maelstrom of how that music swept like a tsunami over Britain and the United States....Mr. Richards has found a way to channel to the reader his own avidity, his own deep soul hunger for music and to make us feel the connections that bind one generation of musicians to another. Along the way he even manages to communicate something of that magic, electromagnetic experience of playing on stage with his mates, be it in a little club or a huge stadium."―Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"[A] slurry romp through the life of a man who knew every pleasure, denied himself nothing, and never paid the price."―David Remnick, The New Yorker
"The ultimate Keith Richards album."―Hillel Italie, Associated Press
"Rollicking and raw."―Andrew Abrahams, People
"What kind of celebrity autobiography is his Life? A remarkable one."―Jim Fusilli, The Wall Street Journal
"[Richards] not only has the best tunes, he also knows how to tell the best tales."―Clark Collis, Entertainment Weekly
"Compelling, endearing, insightful, action-packed, graceful, generous-spirited, unflinching, and funny."―Dan DeLuca, The Philadelphia Inquirer
"A vivid self-portrait and, of the Stones and their musical era, a grand group portrait....spellbinding storytelling."―Richard Corliss, Time
About the Author
Keith Richards was born in London in 1943. A guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and cofounder of the Rolling Stones, he has also released solo albums with his band, The X-Pensive Winos. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Patti Hansen.
James Fox was born in Washington, D.C., in 1945 and has known Keith Richards since the early 1970's when he was a journalist for the Sunday Times in London. His books include the international bestseller White Mischief. He lives in London with his wife and sons.
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However, as has happened before, the copy I got appears to be new, but arrived with dirty fingerprints on the edges and insides. Could not have been given as a gift.
Beyond the details of his life, Richards also provides endless details about the music. I am not a musician by any stretch if the imagination; however, even I was able to grasp the subtle details of the Stones' sound that are highlighted throughout the book. I always appreciated the music spilling from my speakers, but now I have a better understanding of what makes the Stones sound unique. I also have an enhanced knowledge of the dedication that went into producing the songs that have meant so much to me through the years. I will never listen to a Stones album in the same way.
I was also impressed by the way Richards detailed the musicians that have influenced him throughout his life. Some I was familiar with, some were new to me. I can say I have a much better understanding of the role the Stones played in popularizing the blues and selling it back to America. It really is a shame that the pioneers of the blues never got the recognition they so clearly deserved... due to prejudice and racism. Richards also made a point of recognizing the legions of studio musicians and touring members that have kept the music flowing for over fifty years. It is always great to see credit given where it is due.
The story of the Stones wouldn't be complete without addressing the tensions between players that have arisen throughout the band's history. The interpersonal issues with Brian Jones, Mick Taylor and Richards/Jagger are all covered, but don't appear to be sensationalized. Richards' determination to live his life on his own terms while striving for elusive perfection places him in the fine company of Hunter S Thompson, Hemingway, and Roger Waters. All heroes in my humble opinion.
As a Stones fan I also enjoyed his behind-the-scenes accounts of the recordings of so many great songs and albums, in addition to the usual tour stories and excesses galore.
I will say that Keith remains in denial about certain events in his life, and doesn't seem to want to admit that his drug/alcohol habit was responsible for much of the chaos in his life.
Still, it's his book and he's entitled to view his life and Mick any way he wants.
He managed to produce a great autobiography, one that sets the bar high for the many copycat accounts that are sure to follow.
Loved the story about him being wasted on heroin, (not a good thing), in a studio, when the police came in searching the place while he hid under a desk.
Keith's "voice" is delightful. I had no idea what he was really like. The guy is deep and he gets it, life that is.
The stories he tells like the one about driving to morocco for drugs paints such a scene for the reader as to what Keith, those around him, and the world was like. Just reading about what his freaking car was like was worth that chapter!
And the story of the stones being pulled over in Arkansas after being warned never to drive around southern states and how they got out of that mess is vividly described and will make you laugh in amazement about what goes on behind the scenes or at least what the 60's were like.
It's interesting to read about Keith and mick's relationship. And then the Canadian prime minister's wife being a stones' groupie and running around their hotel rooms. Wow.
The narrative is so rich and not a single page is slow.
I love Keith now. I am so glad he opened up and now we get to know him and the history of that time period.
I loved hearing about his parents, his schooling, how he met the stones and the Beatles and on and on.
After i read it, I got the audio book. That is a hoot, especially the part keith reads himself!
You have to read this book!
Most recent customer reviews
BTW GREAT BOOK