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Life | [Keith Richards, James Fox]

Life

Now at last Keith 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....
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"[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)

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  •  
    mack millburn, NJ, United States 11-22-10
    mack millburn, NJ, United States 11-22-10 Member Since 2009
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    "What a Life"

    I am well into Chapter 5 of part 3 and I'm amazed. What a life. How has he lived long enough to tell this story? With his love of making music, he has overcome self-debasement and simply had to survive to tell all of this. There is candor and risk and success and error. His addictions and the tragedy of Gram Parson's are intertwined and troubling. He is accused of misogyny, but I don't hear him promising more than he gave and I'm not certain he treated anyone worse than himself. I'm glad he told it as it was instead of some tidy, self-reverential, cleaner version. Oh, and he could care less about redemption, he's been too busy living.

    I was jarred and confused when the narration went from Depp to Hurley. Both are excellent, but I don't like the inconsistency of voice and if I could choose between the two, I'd choose Hurley's narration. Hurley has the growl and the grittyness and the laugh and the accent just right.

    This is a book to be listened to, a tale told brilliantly in the large smoky living room of an old, musty faded-glory house, perhaps in France. Keith, thanks for letting me sit on the floor as you shared your life so far with all its wonders and warts.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KP Oakland, CA 11-10-10
    KP Oakland, CA 11-10-10 Member Since 2006

    There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "good for Stones fans"

    It was fascinating! If you have always loved The Rolling Stones and rock and roll and have a lot of nostalgia about the 60's... then I think you'd find Keith Richards memoir fascinating, too. It is long, but most of the time, well, I was just blown away hearing about all the stuff Keith Richards did. He has a great conversational style; listening was fun - kind of like sitting in the living room hearing him tell about his life (with help from Johnny Depp and one other reader.) What really shines through is his absolute love of music as well as his totally undisciplined and wild, wild life style. I liked it toward the end when he tells about how Tony Blair wrote him a get well letter (after an accident) and said, "Dear Keith, You've always been one of my heroes..." Then Keith says, "England's in the hands of someone I'm the hero of? That's frightening." I also liked the ending when he sits on the end of his dying mom's bed and plays Malaguena for her. That was one of the first songs he learned at the beginning of the book, so it seemed to be a good frame for the ending... and kind of touching.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LeftyMom North Carolina 01-14-12
    LeftyMom North Carolina 01-14-12 Member Since 2007

    leftymom

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    "Wild Life"

    I was born in the 60's so Keith was more my sister's style but this book was great. Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley (and Keith) did a fantastic job. Lots of props go to James Fox for pulling it all together, it had to be rough. Keith seems to ramble and jump a lot (probably all the drugs) and somehow Mr. Fox keeps it in order. The most amazing part is that Keith is still living to tell the tale. I am also shocked at how well his son seems to have turned out...what a tough life he had. Not that he knows the difference, normal is what you know. Anyway, great story, well told and well written. Loved every minute..

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Denver, CO, United States 12-01-10
    Mary Denver, CO, United States 12-01-10 Listener Since 2003
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    "Wow, what a ride!"

    Keef, you've written a brutally honest, funny, and at times soul baring memoir! In case any disappointed reviewers here have been living under a rock, The Rolling Stones is a "bad boy" band -- and they're proud of it. Drugs, sex, self-indulgence, crude & rowdy behavior... would you expect anything less from Keith's autobiography? The Stones music was a huge part of the soundtrack of my youth, and hearing their history from Keith's point of view has been so much fun. Joe Hurley put the British spin on Keith's already colorful language. What a gas, gas, gas!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gage SAN ANTONIO, TX, United States 11-24-10
    Gage SAN ANTONIO, TX, United States 11-24-10 Member Since 2010

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Like Going Back to the 60s"

    Well narrated story of Keith and the Rolling Stones. Its amazing the details he remembers. This isn't just about the Stones. It ties in with a lot of events in the 60's and 70's. Very entertaining. I think if you like Rock n Roll, its beginnings and changes in the 60's and 60's this is a book for you. The narration is good, especially with Johnny Depp. Also, if you're a guitarist, there's something in it for you too. Lessons from a great guitarist.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason G. Cons ithaca 12-10-10
    Jason G. Cons ithaca 12-10-10 Member Since 2004

    pros and cons

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    "False Advertising"

    It's nice to see that now Audible has listed Joe Hurley as a second reader of this book. They didn't when I purchased the book. Be warned. The book is great. Depp is great. He disappears about four hours in and is replaced by Joe Hurley, who is absolutely abysmal. Terrible cockney accent that slips at strange places. Terrible renditions of American Southern accents. Hurley succeeds in making Richards sound like an absolute idiot. I'm about 2/3rds of the way through the book and desperately hoping that Depp comes back soon. I've had pretty close to as much Hurley as I can stomach.

    19 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Toronto, Ontario, Canada 11-30-10
    John Toronto, Ontario, Canada 11-30-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Great story; Tiresome narration"

    Great story but the narration gets irritating after a while. Constant "drunk Keith" with the faux English accent wasn't really necessary. Poor creative choice.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul New York, NY, United States 11-03-10
    Paul New York, NY, United States 11-03-10 Member Since 2007

    Guitarist with The Prudes

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent and exhausting"

    The bio is very comprehensive up until around 1987 then the details are a little thin but over all it's a great listen/read. Having three voice overs is odd, I loved Johnny and the man himself. Keith keeps nothing back and there are few great surprises and yet it's exhausting even thinking about some of the stories. I haven't read anything this crazy since Moon. If you love the Stones or Keith or have any feelings for the 60's and 70's you will enjoy this, Keith has lived a very fascinating life, or perhaps several.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Willis, TX, United States 01-30-13
    Gary Willis, TX, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Keith Richards -Unplugged"
    What made the experience of listening to Life the most enjoyable?

    I never really listened to the stones that much and didn't know a lot about the band members -I do now!!!!


    What other book might you compare Life to and why?

    Who am I
    by Pete Townshend


    Which character – as performed by Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley – was your favorite?

    Johnny Depp did a good job -although he was very monotonic
    Joe Hurley sounded like he was trying to sound British


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    the end -when he played the guitar for his mom as she was dying


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Clearlake, CA, United States 07-30-12
    Stephanie Clearlake, CA, United States 07-30-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Disappointed"

    Due to other positive reviews, I had expected so much more prior to struggling hours and hours through this audiobook. I am the target audience for this book, too. I am the right age, a huge fan of the music and someone looking forward to reminiscing about the time. While there were some interesting gossipy parts that made it roll along a little faster in some sections, I mostly felt disappointed by what was missing in this account of a life; an apparent lack of personal insight or growth.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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