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)
An Excellent Story!
Keith --he showed great heart.
Liked when they used the Cockney accent
I came into adulthood during the 70's. Of course I knew of the Stones but I never would say I loved or followed their music.
This was just a great story about someone who helped define the times of my life. It was of course an interesting and varied story. And surprisingly...I fell in love with Keith...
The shift of narrators through the book proved to be very enjoyable -- particularly the last hour of the book.
An honest portrayal of the best and worst of being a modern legend -- a totally unexpected experience
Artist at KiniArt™
I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Having been familiar with just a few hits from the Rolling Stones, I didn't realize just how little I really knew about the band and all they went through... I learned a lot about Keith, the Stones and what went on behind the scenes. I would recommend this book to anyone with even a mild liking of Stones music. It's a fun peek into the music making world of the past, and a great story of stupid choices, dumb luck, and astounding perseverance.
I've been a Rolling Stones fan since the mid-70s and so was familiar with their history, but it was great to hear it from the man himself. Keith Richards is everything you would expect and also nothing like what you expect -- he has lived the ultimate Rock life and taken all the drugs and lived as a touring pirate, but he is also a thoughtful, intelligent, well-read and impressively disciplined man at the same time. What emerges more than anything is a guy who fell in love with music (American blues and early rock-and-roll) and who seems to have never fallen out of love with it. He takes the entire Rolling Stones experience extremely seriously, from the songwriting to the sound to the touring to the relationships with his bandmates. It was fascinating to hear how the band came together, how Keith, Brian and Mick lived together in poverty and squalor, yet how their rise to fame was pretty rapid. Keith writes at length about how he and Mick emerged as an impressive songwriting team, and how Keith later discovered open-G tuning, which helped the Stones sound like no other band. He has some great insights on Mick, too; he lavishes Jagger with praise over the man's talents as a singer, performer, harmonica player and band spokesman, and also complains about Jagger's personality quirks that have led to divisions between the two men, and in the band overall. By the end, Richards seems to have buried the hatchet and also appears as a settled old man who enjoys the small things in life like family and the odd plate of bangers and mash (even though he lives in Connecticut, of all places).
The narration is very strange, almost as if the publishers had to patch together the voice talent. Johnny Depp narrates the first 25% or so of the book and is quite good. Then, abruptly, Joe Hurley takes over, giving the book a very British, actorly feel (Hurley is almost imitating Richards' slurry, rock star voice). It was alright, I guess. Finally, near the last 25% of the book, Depp comes back! And then, near the very end of the book, another voice takes over, and then on top of that there is another celebrity reader! I won't spoil it, but it makes for a very fun conclusion, so keep listening to the whole thing.
I highly recommend Life for anyone who's a fan of the Stones, rock history, the British invasion, or pop culture in general. It's a remarkable look at an entire era.
I don't read many autobiographies, but this one had such great reviews, that I couldn't resist. It was worth the many hours as an audiobook to hear Keith Richards telling the stories of his life, which has been a wild ride. Being born in the 80's, there are only so many documentaries that you can watch on the 60's that will give you a grasp of the reality of the times. This book was far better than any documentary in its ability to set cultural contexts for the state of the US at a time when war, race relations, sexual revolution and art were all evolving and changing our country forever. This first person account is long, but enjoyable, even if you aren't a Stones fan.
The performance was all about Depp and sounds like he is satirizing KR. The story itself is fascinating, including a surprising amount of insight about how KR thinks and feels about music, and about himself. I never suspected he was so introverted. But I had to grit my teeth to get past Depp's mocking portrayal of him as some kind of illiterate pirate.
I strongly recommending reading the book in paper format. That way you get the pictures and you know who is making asides and is being quoted. Depp just imbeds sidebars from other people seamlessly without identifying them and suddenly Keith is speaking about Keith in the third person, but of course it's somebody else being quoted about Keith, but you don't know who it is, then suddenly it seems to be Keith speaking again, but you can't be sure until you have more context.
I have the print version and rate it 5 stars. Do not confuse the quality of the story with the quality of the audiobook. Depp ruins it.
I'm having a difficult time finishing this book because the content just isn't that compelling. Yes, I've learned a few mots, and had a mental aha moment, but not enough of those to offer hurrah's. I might be more impressed by the second half of the book, but motivation to listen is a problem. Other celebrities may consider more reflection applied to their memoires.
Not until my wish list is empty. There are more useful ways for my time and money.
122 titles and counting i really should review more!
it would need a better narrator johnny depp wasnt a good reader he should stick too acting
i dont know stardust by gaiman or tricked by Kevin Hearne
another narrator maybe
i had high hopes but how can a book about rock n roll in its hayday be boring
Keith Richards has to have had an enormously entertaining life, but you would never know it as you fall asleep under the spell of Johnny Depp's monotone reading of the first four chapters. It gets better when Joe Hurley starts relating anecdotes about his life. At least I think it is Joe Hurley, maybe it is Johhny Depp come to life and acting like Keith Richards. Whatever. Maybe the 2nd part is better, but I barely got through the first part. Too bad. Why didn't Keith Richards just do the reading, or at least just get on and record a bunch of stories about his life. Would have been much better.
Johnny Depp read in a terrible, boring, monotone. I thought Joe Hurley was Keith Richards, so I am happy to find out that it wasn't Keith.
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..
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