As lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the riffs, the lyrics, and the songs that roused the world. A true and towering original, he has always walked his own path, spoken his mind, and done things his own way.
Now at last, Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere. Dropping his guitar's sixth string to create a new sound that allowed him to create immortal riffs like those in "Honky Tonk Woman" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash". Falling in love with Anita Pallenberg, Brian Jones's girlfriend. Arrested and imprisoned for drug possession. Tax exile in France and recording Exile on Main Street. Ever-increasing fame, isolation, and addiction, making life an ever faster frenzy. Through it all, Richards remained devoted to the music of the band, until even that was challenged by Mick Jagger's attempt at a solo career, leading to a decade of conflicts and ultimately the biggest reunion tour in history.
In a voice that is uniquely and unmistakably him - part growl, part laugh - Keith Richards brings us the truest rock-and-roll life of our times, unfettered and fearless and true.
Read by Johnny Depp with Joe Hurley and featuring Keith Richards.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2010 Keith Richards (P)2010 Hachette Audio
"[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)
"A vivid self-portrait and, of the Stones and their musical era, a grand group portrait....spellbinding storytelling." (Richard Corliss, Time)
You will like this book. The work it took for Keith to become one the top guitarist is detailed. The background of how many of their great songs were born and then there is the crazy life and you wonder how he survived.
I have always liked the Rolling Stones, but never appreciated them the way I should have ... this autobiography made me go back and listen again to the music. Keith Richards is far more articulate than he should be given his years of drug abuse, all of which is recounted candidly and without regret. I admire his honesty even if I couldn't make the same choices that he did.
The narration was confusing -- starting with Johnny Depp and then suddenly switching to another reader, before returning to Johnny and ultimately finishing with Keith's own voice. Johnny Depp's recording was a bit stilted, but easy to follow, however.
I'm about 12 hours in to Keith Richard's "Life", and have found the writing -- really storytelling -- and the narration to be fantastic. Even the music lesson -- guitar chords and all -- were entertaining to a non-musician. If you grew up with the Stones, this is a must-have listen. Need to get out on another road trip to finish this one soon!
Especially the parts where it is KR reading; this was pretty much the best thing I've ever heard.
I enjoy a good story . I usually listen to a book every month . I love anything by Ken Follett
One of the best books I've ever read. I have a new respect and admiration for Keith Richards. What an amazing life
Fascinating story of how Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones went from London laddies to world class superstars. How they, especially Keith but others, too, lived, loved, drugged, preformed, interacted, - it's all covered. I'm not sure I believe that Richards is telling the whole truth in some cases - but what memoirist with his background would? He lambastes some people and honors others. There seem to be no holds barred on that.
I wasn't fond of the Joe Hurley narration but fortunately it doesn't go on too long. I believe he was chosen because of his friendship with Richards and Hurley knows the music part. Actually, I didn't think I'd be that interested in the music technique part but it was quite interesting - Hurley or not. I did get a bit bored in the drawn out drug trips.
Richards lets other people in his life tell bits of the story from time to time, and I think that's a great technique, but listening to it is a bit confusing sometimes when the story-teller changes and then goes back.
Overall though - and I've listened to hundreds of books- I highly recommend this one.
Joe Hurley narrated superbly. When he first started, I thought it was Keith. Sorry, Johnny, I love you, but narration by an American just didn't seem right.
I've never been a huge Stones fan, but no one can deny Keith has led an interesting life, so I thought I'd listen to the book. It was well worth it, and I love that Keith just laid it all out - the best and worst of him. Yeah, he's misogynistic, a dope addict, and did many other questionable things, but this was his life, and it was an engaging read.
I've been a Stones fan forever, but I'm not sure I'll be able to enjoy their music after listening to the first two installments of this book. (I don't plan to ever listen to the third.) Richards' misogyny is all the worse because he is either unaware of it or utterly unapologetic for it. Women are either b*tches, chicks or birds and seem to exist only to be f***ed by Richards. Even if I could ignore his treatment of women, I doubt that I would finish the book - it is very badly written.
I'm not sure why Johnny Depp narrates the beginning and Joe Hurley the rest. It seems bizarre.
When I think about The Stones, I think about lying in my bed, aged eighth, in the dark, listening to Midnight Rambler. There is something visceral about the Stones, something deep and inexhaustible. When I hear those guitars and Mick's voice, I 'm in a different world.
I devoured the paperback version of Life and I'm on my third listen of the audiobook now. It really just gets better and better. There is SO much information here. If you're a musician, it's a done deal, you have to get it. If you're a songwriter, you MUST get it.
Keith really early found that he didn't like being told what to do and so he created his own life, for himself. I'm doing the same right now so I connect even stronger with this material now.
To me, this book is about being your own person and fearlessly striking out on your own and following your passion.
It is completely priceless. Mr. Hurley is a fantastic narrator, and so is Mr. Depp. I'm not sure why there are two, and they are very different, but I'm not complaining.
The best part of the book for me, is the NellCote part about recording Exile on Main St. The creation of this seminal record seems so magical and unlikely and the stories surrounding it, and the whole setting, are incredible.
It's a real treat to have Keith narrate the last part himself. It feels almost like he is talking directly to you, and in my case, that's like having a favorite uncle/God of many years, right there with me.
Need I say "highly recommended"?
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.