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)
I loved this audio book. It was as if Keef was in the room with you. Narration was outstanding and to have Keith finish the last portion of the book was extra special. After I finished the book i'm sure i went through withdrawal.
Mr. Richards goes into fantastic detail about the music that influenced the early days of the rolling stones. If you want to know why he thinks a particular musician was worthy of emulation it is all clearly spelled out in this book. He is brutally candid about other members of the stones, in a way that probably reveals about as much as can be revealed about Mr. Richards himself. Some of it is flattering to his bandmates, some to himself and it is gratifying to hear.
Ok, just in case you didn't know - Keith Richards has done a LOT of drugs, and he talks a lot about drugs in his memoir. The audiobook has 3 narrators - it starts with Keef reading the intro, then Johnny Depp reads 4 chapters, then Joe Hurley reads a few more chapters, Johnny Depp comes back for a while and then the last couple are read by Keith. Even with all the switching around, it is a pretty interesting listen. My favorite bits are when he is eloquent about the music and how it makes him feel, what he says about Charlie Watts, and the way he talks about the women he has been serious about. This was far more literate and witty than I thought it could possibly be. Fancy that.
Amazing life. Amazing that Keith is still alive. Johnny Depp does a great read, the other voices are very good. Keith does a good job.
What a terrific audio book. You truly get to know Keith in this engaging autobiography, and there's lots to love: the Stones history and mythology explained, a lifetime's cast of marginal characters brought center stage, the influence, uses and abuses of a long history with drugs, but most of all the music. Keith's love of music in general and true rock and roll in particular, and guitar rock very specifically, are at the core of the book. The book is a great story. We get to listen to one of the true originals of 20th century music tell it all, and its a blast. Not sure what the female reviewers who gave the book 1 star are talking about. They preface their reviews with what big Stones fans they are, and then criticize KR for misogyny because of his use of certain slang terms. What? Didn't you listen to any of the lyrics of the songs? Its a vernacular, and a life that apparently the reviewers never shared. The truth is Keith's sincerity and love for the significant women in his life are touching and real, especially his mature attitude to Anita Pallenberg. The best of the book is its tone. Richards is completely honest, completely sincere. He has, like him or not, integrity. I'm reminded of an interview I once saw with Bernie Worrell where Bernie calls Keith "one of the people." And that's it. He is the real deal: a genuine rock song writing original, but even more a true, for real, much to be admired human with values that cannot be compromised and faith with friends that cannot be breached. That's what the book is about.
The narration by Johnny Depp is good, but that by Joe Hurley is superb. If you were wondering whether this one is really worth it, it is.
I see a complaint that Keith Richards is not the narrator. Well Keith opens, hands it off to Johnny Depp where it's picked up by Joe Hurley (Keith's voice extraordinaire) and it's great! As I listened I thought "Wow..Keith is all over the place telling this". Yes, it's written from mid beginning's to childhood, school mates, the 1970s, childhood, hometown, school mates, etc BUT it's coherent! It's written like your sitting there across from Keith and he's telling you his story and it all flows, clearly and evenly as you listen. So no con on this.
Some insights. Nothing that's going to make yer mind go boom but insights that may make you think: " Dam...it's a hard , hard life they all had/have.". I did. Not to mention the police harassment. A jolly good read and thank you Mr Richards for letting yer ya ya's out. (Note: Not a spoiler but there IS a surprise and it's a gas)
BTW Keith I learned to play "Malaquena" but I still ain't "in".
Thanks for adding so much pleasure to my life. I realise you paid to do it.
Ah, Keef...thanks for the memories, mate. So glad you could stay with us long enough to share your story. This book is a must for any Stones fan.
I write my reviews under my wife Karen's account. Retired USN Russian linguist/analyst; actor; director; producer. Biography & History focus
This book is a breath of fresh air! A no-nonsense, self aware, critical and often hilarious look at Keith Richards' life and times with, and without, The Rolling Stones. An added plus for musicians is his analysis and description of his, and those he admired, playing styles, techniques and open chord theory.
This is truly an outstanding autobiography that has to rank as one of the finest ever written.
I can't recommend this strongly enough. Get it, Listen, and Rock On!
Audio books don't get much better than this. Fascinating look at music legend's life - ups and downs. Seems very honest in the telling. Narration is spot on. KR comes across as much more than just a drugged up rocker. I enjoyed this as much as the Andre Agassi autobiography. Highly recommended!
I'm really stunned at how good this book is. It shouldn't be a surprise that Keith Richard is such a great story teller; after all that's what songwriting is. His portrayal of growing up in post war London is vivid and visceral; Dickens in a ducktail hair-do. In spite of his hair raising lifestyle he comes off as a bright, perceptive and very funny guy. Not for the faint of heart, this is a fabulous, adult -sized slice of life.
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