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)
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.
pros and cons
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.
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.
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
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.
Can't even comprehend the constant need for "smack" & "shooters" (always a great combination ~btw), but the level of irresponsibility for his kids was more than I could stand! Couldn't even finish listening. Can I get my money back??
Perhaps if Keith Richards didn't demonstrate his total lack of regard for anyone but himself,and he could have accepted that the same rules and mores apply to him as well as to everyone else, this could have been a better book. Unfortunately, that would make it someone else's life, not his. (He seems to actually believe that the police shouldn't arrest him for drugs because "Don't they understand I'm a Rocker? That I have a different life than theirs? Couldn't they just live their lives and let me live mine?" He is a totally unsympathetic, and even pathetic, individual. He was not fit to be a parent at all, and if his children survived him they should have a story of their own to tell. And his story is BORING. Except for one or two tidbits about the genesis of the Stones, he rambles on endlessly name-dropping early "legends" of his, and how somehow they influenced him, and speaks endlessly about forming certain chords and sounds on the guitar that are meaningless to anyone but a top-notch guitar player. I am not, and I was bored silly.
They could have left out the interminable name-dropping and descriptions of how you actually play the guitar and concentrated on the history of the Rolling Stones. Keith Richards may be a great guitarist, but without the Stones he is nothing but a stoned-out jerk.
I hated this book, actually, and can only appreciate that it taught me that their is nothing to idolize about Keith Richards.
Johnny Depp is just the worst narrator ever spawned. He may conjure up a lot of charisma in his pirate movies, but he can't read a book with passion, verve, inflection, or even interest. I know now why nobody takes him seriously, except, unfortunately, Keith Richards, who should have read this book himself.
The tiny part narrated by Johnny Depp was ok, but the rest of the listen I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND MOST OF IT. you are doing a disservice to your customers by using Johnny Depp's part for the sample and then Joe Hurley steps in for the majority of the audiobook and understanding him was impossible for me!
Yes if it was narrated by someone I COULD UNDERSTAND. This is the only reason I gave it two stars.
None, the story was good from what I could understand.
You should include Joe Hurley in the sample so that your customers know what they are purchasing. The story is the only reason I gave it two stars, otherwise if I could I would have given it zero stars.
The first chapter is one of the funniest I've ever read and brought back the edgy times of the drug imbibing counter culture bursting out like a viral fungus across our nation, setting red necks and straight necks against hippies. A time in history when Tricky Dick declared the Rolling Stones the most DANGEROUS ROCK BAND IN THE WORLD and banned them from America. Oh course anyone getting that much attention for being contrary to the establishment at that time had my vote for Rock Gods.
The early years part of the book drags on a bit, unless of course you have it on audio book like I did and are weeding your strawberry patch, then its a nice distraction from the job at hand. But once you get past that it's a great read about a great ride with a number of amazing insights from the guy with his hands on the wheel.
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