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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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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2467 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gary Washington, DC, United States 04-01-11
    Gary Washington, DC, United States 04-01-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a nice surprise"

    I picked this one up on a whim and ended up loving it! Some of the musical arcana was a bit much but what a great portrayal of the dawn of a new musical epoch. The book had too many readers - at least three. I disliked transitioning between the readers but I must say I liked each after a ten minute adjustment period. Don't let this stop from you listening it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Middle Island, NY, United States 02-02-11
    Bill Middle Island, NY, United States 02-02-11 Member Since 2005
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    "Narration was confusing"

    Keith Richards has led a very interesting life to say the least and it is reflected here. My only issue with the book is the narration. Johnny Depp, I assume starts the narration and commands attention reading the narritive with an american accent while doing a great job doing other accents when people are quoted.
    Then about 1/3 of the way through, he either changed his style completely or it was read the other narrator mentioned. This person had an English accent and did a great Keith Richards. With just the book on my ipod, I thought it was still Johnny Depp for a while. There were quite a few letters and quotes from other people but with this narrator it was hard to tell when they began and ended.
    Then the last 1/3 of the book was back to Johnny Depp with an american accent. Keith Richards read a few sections himself at the end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Sonoma, CA, United States 11-07-10
    Charles Sonoma, CA, United States 11-07-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You Don't Have To Be A Huge Stones Fan"

    Keith Richards' honesty is what makes this book so good. He knows what he is, and it often aint pretty, but he tells the truth. Anybody can relate to this book. You don't have to be or have been a huge Stones fan. I wasn't. A unique life story well told. It answers the question where on earth did all that great music come from.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Middleburg, PA, United States 10-28-10
    Mike Middleburg, PA, United States 10-28-10 Member Since 2003
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    "Excellent Read if you like Biography & Rock & Roll"

    I have been a fan of the Rolling Stones since I was a teenager. Mick Jagger was the one I related to because I have always been a front man, but from Keith Richard's first solo album, Talk is Cheap, forward made me take a closer look at the man behind the licks & co-writer of most of the Stones songs. Keith's solo effort surmounted all of Mick's attempts at going solo. This book "Life" is riveting and I could not stop reading (listening) - Keith is "spot on" and brutally honest as he deconstructs his life and times. I am through one-third now and like all good books I dread getting to the end. Johnny Depp who I had the pleasure of meeting when he worked with John Waters in MD, does an excellent job narrating the book – as is Joe Hurley. It takes courage to strip off the veneer and write the raw truth or at least your perspective of it. Richard's not only does this but he makes it interesting, because he is part of Rock & Roll history. The Stones songs spoke for a generation that was looking for a voice. Richard's not only relates the inside story of the Stones& of the Rhythm and Blue's legends he has encountered. I have seen the Stones on tour throughout the years beginning with the "Tattoo You" tour, but it was the “Some Girls” Album that I could not put away — my friends and I would have parties and lip synch "Shattered" and "Miss you" and other tunes. I think Hot Rock's was the first 8-track tape I bought — and I could not get enough of "Sympathy for the Devil". Before going to my first Stones Concert, I had a dream that I met the band backstage — they were at the base of a scissor like device, that was a platform and I got on board with them and we went up into the back stage area air, when I went to the show at the Capital Center, Jagger came right over me in a Cherry Picker, singing "Satisfaction". This book is a backstage pass that takes you into the heart of the Stones - enjoy. Now all I have to do is meet Richard's & Jagger. Mike Dupuy Falconry

    25 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Padma devi California 02-11-11
    Padma devi California 02-11-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    4
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    "The book is interesting. Hurley is awful."

    Joe Hurley sounds like he is either drunk or has taken too many downers. He is slurring his words and between this, his English (?) accent, and the fact that he also swallows his words, he is difficult to understand and difficult to listen to. At some points I found him so irritating that I wanted to skip forward hoping to get back to Johnny Depp who speaks well and is clear and pleasant to listen to.
    I am finding the parts about the composition of the songs and the gitar playing very interesting.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 10-03-13
    Amazon Customer United States 10-03-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The interaction of Richards, and Depp didn't stop."
    Where does Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    His chapter on his 5 string open G tuning was worth the price of admission alone. Very informative, insightful, and (as a guitarist) inspiring. It was nice to know that I managed to F**K Up my life with the best of them, and that I'm not alone.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Outside of Keith (which is why I bought the audio book in the first place), probably Woodie (Ron Wood). Both incredible on guitar.


    What does Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Lets face it, Jack Sparrow (by all accounts) was Keith Richards, and they've been kindred spirits ever since.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    LIFE of a Stone, a guitarist, a junkie, and a person.


    Any additional comments?

    I just genuinely enjoyed this book. It's interesting to know how some of the Stones songs came to be written. I'd rate it a strong R, but I don't regret listening to it. From the first chapter, you know that you're in for a bumpy ride, so fasten your seat belts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuckc72 Arvada, CO 08-06-13
    Chuckc72 Arvada, CO 08-06-13 Member Since 2012

    Charles

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    "What a Ride!"

    Keith holds nothing back. What I like most about this journey is Keith sharing his songwriting techniques and his overall love of music. I am impressed by this man and will never think of him as just some burned out drug addict but that of a true artist.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael United States 07-24-13
    Michael United States 07-24-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Who would have known!"

    This book gives you Keith Richards side of a great story that is his life. The amount of things this guy did was crazy! I thought it was great that he was able to get johnny Depp to help narrate Kieth's story! You really now know what the human body can and kant do. The amount of stress on a rock stars life is incredible. The only reason why I gave the performance 4 stars is that Kieth himself starts to narrate towards the end, and no offense to him but you can tell he lived a rough life. Other than that I thought it was very enjoyable and I learned alot about the history of the Rolling Stones!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hermanous Frederick, MD, United States 06-13-13
    hermanous Frederick, MD, United States 06-13-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Best Autobiography Ever"

    This is the first book I've listened to that, I think, probably works better as an audio book. Much of this comes from the enjoying the exploits of Keith's life in rock and roll, and kudos also needs to go to narrator Joe Hurley, who does such a wonderful job in capturing the spirit of Keith in his narration -- I simply loved it. Yes, Johnny Depp reads two sections within the book, and it's nice for him to lend his star credo to this book, but Joe Hurley is the standout and brings much of the life to Keith Richard's words.

    And, I have to say, beyond the narration, this book has given me a new appreciation for Keith Richards, moving him beyond the two-dimensional perception of him as a junkie musician and really catapaulting him to newer heights, after gleaming his appreciation for the blues, music creation, and simply playing in a band.

    A great book, written by a legend in the industry, and narrated primarily by someone who really captures the spirit of the book: I think this is the first time I've recommended to people that they LISTEN to this book, and not READ it.

    Very, very enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richar W. Oreilly Taunton Ma USA 05-09-13
    Richar W. Oreilly Taunton Ma USA 05-09-13 Listener Since 2004

    jazzbass

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome Book"
    What did you love best about Life?

    Very in-depth 1st hand account of Keith's life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Knowing where, when and how he was raised you can tell why the music sounds the way it does. Keiths playing is very raw (yet awesome) and uncontrolled at points. Very similar to where he came from.


    What about Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley ’s performance did you like?

    Joe Hurley's performance was stellar. Sometimes I thought I was listening to Keith Richards. He is a natural as a narrator. Just great.


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

    Just the fact that he hung with all the old blues cats in his formidable years. I also feel like "he got it" when it came to the blues.
    This book made me appreciate his contribution to music and him as a musician more than I already did.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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