Book Review – Life: Keith Richards

Let’s start this review by assuming that Mick Jagger has just done every woman of this current ‘crop’ of women.

That’s just what happens if you are a band member of the Rolling Stones. It’s a band that is probably up there with The Beatles, and that most bands from the 70s and 80s cite as one of their primary influences.

Well, speaking of influences, almost every record that they released used to hit the charts at number 1 or 2, and actually stay there. Their studio albums always sold out and were certified Platinum or Gold. That’s just how cool this band has been until 2005.

These are bona-fide rock stars – timeless and revered for their artistry, having lived the life that only some people can dream of. Women, booze, drugs… you name it!

Speaking of drugs however, Keith Richards comes to mind, for several references to his addiction. It shouldn’t be surprising that he’s released an autobiography – one that has been anticipated for a while.

The Life of an Original Rock Star

While Guns N Roses was considered to be the most dangerous band in the world (wonder why?), no one comes close to the Rolling Stones in living the Life of an authentic rock star.

They were the very first, if you didn’t know this already. And his biography reveals all… sharing with us his Life in a manner that is honest, fearless and well, reminds us of years gone by.

Be it his personal life rife with drugs, his relationship with Anita Pallenberg and marriage to Patti Hansen among several others, his riffs that have stood the test of time and falling out with Jagger, it’s all in this book in which he has given us more than a sneak peek as to what it is to live the life of the original rock star.

With that said, it also reveals a softer side to this man who expresses his love for music since his childhood, tells us about his influences such as Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry and also his experience of learning the guitar (thanks to his grandad!) and forming a band with Jagger, with whom the ‘ride’ has been anything but easy.

Of course, it is this aspect, his turbulent relationship with Jagger, that has not only been deemed controversial but has captured the attention of the media ever since this book was released.

He also talks at length about his style of playing guitar and chord construction – an aspect that might interests present day musicians, and who might not be interested in his Life.

(Who wouldn’t seriously?)

Yet what is so amazing is the fact that Richards was paid almost $7 million for this book and just by reviewing 10 pages of an excerpt. And it should come as no surprise that when the book was released, it was well received by critics.

In Closing

If there’s a quote that one can pick from the book that literally exposes Keith Richards, it’s him saying, “People say ‘Why don’t you give it up?’. I don’t think they quite understand. I’m not doing it for the money or for you. I’m doing it for me.”