Keith Richards has always been an enigma as a rock star. Obviously talented but I figured him as a kid who learned four or five chords and happened to be in the right place at the right time. Nope. He spends the first chapters establishing his "bona-fides" as a lover of American blues & soul. He spends a great deal of time practically gloating about how great it was snorting pharmacuetical grade cocaine which apparently doesn't automatically come with a crash wishing you'd never snorted anything. (Perhaps it was only because he also revels in staying up as many days as possible on the stuff and then finally sleeping. He also gloats about mixing his own pure heroin and admits he spent 3/4 of his life as a junkie and much of the book is about how the cops were on his tail. In the meantime he gives serious insights into his relationship with Jagger, how songs are written and where some classic stones songs got their names. There is a LOT of name dropping as to the famous musicians he wrote and played with. I know it sounds boring and now that you know what it is likely might find it so. Still I bought it with a completely open mind and was surprised that Richards comes off as a fairly thoughtful individual and not some spoiled aging star with a soul as shallow as a puddle. No, the man and is his book are FAR more complex.
There is very little about this autobiography that is conventional: it has many narrators, the chronology is a bit off in places, there are many tangents, and there are off topic rants/advice (on shepherd's pie?!). It does not follow typical autobiographical or audiobook 'rules' and requires the listener to pay attention and not passively absorb the material. But then again, isn't that what Richards, and the Stones, were up to in their music? So why would his autobiography be any different? Wicked awesome.
Really enjoyed this even though I've never been a big KR devotee or lover of autobiographies. Richards covers all the main points of his life, the excesses, life in the Stones etc and like any autobiography, there are omissions and some self-promotion. But you won't read this for its authoritativeness - what makes it very readable is the voice and perspective of the author himself - playful, no holds barred, and imbuing a zest for life in everything he does. Have to say I also loved the trio of narrators, though I puzzled why they chose this format rather than having Richards read the whole thing himself.
Great, insightful book. Mick Jagger was knighted, but it should have been bestowed upon Keith Richards. Richards was the heart and soul of the Rolling Stones. I always thought Jagger was THE man, but he was only the shell, the front man. The Rolling Stones is known for its music..and Keith Richards was the man who loved music. Along with all the other band members, san Jagger.
I loved this book. I saw the Stones in Boston Garden in 1972 when I was 21 years old, and never thought much about Keith Richards' role in the band. I had no idea he was such a driving force or creative influence for the group. He came across in the book as a very endearing character, and not misogynistic at all, as another reviewer suggested. He speaks frequently of the women he loved, admired and respected, and how important they were to him. In fact, I think he gives credit where he believes credit is due to all his bandmates and the fellow musicians he met along the way. He speaks truthfully and without excuses about his actions throughout his life; he rarely seems mean-spirited or cruel. And it just seems so clear, to him it was all about the music. His love of it is huge. As a counterpoint to this book, I would suggest finding online the very funny article in Slate magazine that imagines what Mick Jagger's response to the book might have been, had he written one. A big bonus at the end of the audiobook is that Keith, himself, narrates the last chapter. Incredibly enjoyable.
But it's a hell of a ride.
Yes it's vulgar. Yes, to some people it is probably obscene, it sure is fun.
I'm not a big Stones fan but I really enjoyed listening to this book. Never boring, always fun and just how did he remember all this stuff?
Unvarnished and painfully truthful Keith does not make excuses he just tells the story of his life.
Makes me want to sit down and drink a few rum and cokes on the beach with him and ask questions.
Enjoyed the Clapton autobiography so much I really looked forward to Keith Richards'. The first section was fine, but then it devolved into a drunkalogue. The narrator--Hurley by that time?--didn't help. He sounded as stoned as the material suggested. Now halfway through, someday I'll try to finish it, but really couldn't go on for now. I like the Stones too much.
LOVED IT.. I wish Keef had narrated the whole thing.. the last part where it is his voice is not only genuine.. but hysterically funny. the man has an incredible sense of humor..Loved the book.. love the Stones.. and Happy Birthday Keef ( dec 18) may you live forever!.. but how you have gotten this far is a mystery! LOl
Great book! I am a big Rolling Stones fan and this book did not disappoint. I feel like I have been on tour with Keith Richards. The book readers were outstanding. After the book, I have a much better understanding of how this band stayed together for so many years. The book helps you appreciate the genius of Mr. Richards. At first the audiobook seemed long, but after you start it the time flies by. Thanks Keith you should be proud of this work.