Monday, October 25, 2010

Why Keith Richards is still doing it

I just read this Keith Richards quote from his new autobiography.

"People say 'why don't you give it up?' I don't think they quite understand. I'm not doing it just for the money, or for you. I'm doing it for me." —Keith Richards

OK, I needed to hear that. Because I have said that about the Rolling Stones--starting about 30 years ago. I said it long enough to get tired of it and wonder why anyone bothered.

I still don't get why people go to their shows, but I do get why he's doing them. What else is he going to do?


On another note, I'm curious whether the book is any good. Anyone read it?


  1. To be fair to Keith, making music and The Stones are all he has ever done. so why should he stop. I love Keith, and nobody would have told Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry or Little Richard to give up playing, so why should Keith and The Stones? and they are far better than the 'music' that's around at the moment. I have ordered his book, and I'm looking forward to reading it. At least we will get the truth from Keith, no glossing over anything. rock on Keith. I love you.

  2. Thanks, Michelle. I'm very interested in Keith as a guy, less in the music the group is making. And that's more about what is (not) left of Mick's voice. (Also, the relevance of their songwriting.)

    Why do you think nobody would have told those others guys to give it a rest? I hear it about just about every musician well past their prime. What's different about that list?

  3. I agree with you 100% Dave, they should have stopped around 1980. For me, their last decent single was Waiting on a Friend from 1981, for which the music had been written in 1972, BTW.

    I imagine a character like Mick Jagger will not be told what to do, and as long as their tours keep making loads of money (allegedly, their latest A Bigger Bang tour is the highest grossing tour of all time with $558,255,524 earned).

    Needless to say, I will not read the book.

  4. Marc, wow, half a freaking billion? Gawd.

    I actually will check out the book. I'm much more interested in his story than the retread music. He had a big impact on the world, and what a colorful character, too. I'm curious.

    Most celeb books are trash, but some songwriters have the talent for writing prose, too. Bob Dylan's drew ecstatic reviews, and Patti Smith's was just nominated for the National Book Award.

    (And I have to brag about my agent Betsy Lerner on that last one. When she was an editor, she convinced Patti to write the book, and bought it. Then Betsy became an agent and Patti's agent, and shepherded it for the next ten-plus years. (Longer than she had to nurse mine! haha.)

  5. You have every right to brag ;-), after what you've accomplished.

    I loved Victor Bockris' Andy Warhol biography.
    Speaking of interesting characters.
    And Amanda Lear's "autobiography", about her life with Dali; if you can obtain a copy of that, do read it, it's a scream.

    In what way do you find that Richards (has) had a big impact? Do you think it will last as I'm sure Dylan's influence will?

    What I mostly remember is his drug abuse, his relationships with the likes of Anita Pallenberg, him being a role model for Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean and him falling out of a coconut tree a few years ago. Which actually made him stop using drugs.