With the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the riffs, the lyrics, and the songs that roused the world, and over four decades he lived the original rock-and-roll life: taking the chances he wanted, speaking his mind, and making it all work in a way that no one before him had ever done.
Now, at last, the man himself tells us the story of life in the crossfire hurricane. And what a life. Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records as a child in post-war Kent. Learning guitar and forming a band with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones. The Rolling Stones' first fame and success as a bad-boy band. The notorious Redlands drug bust and subsequent series of confrontations with a nervous establishment that led to his enduring image as outlaw and folk hero. Creating immortal riffs such as the ones in 'Jumping Jack Flash' and 'Street Fighting Man' and 'Honky Tonk Woman'. Falling in love with Anita Pallenberg, and the death of Brian Jones. Tax exile in France, wildfire tours of the US, Exile on Main Street and Some Girls. Ever increasing fame, isolation and addiction. Falling in love with Patti Hansen. Estrangement from Mick Jagger and subsequent reconciliation. Solo albums and performances with his band the Xpensive Winos. Marriage, family, and the road that goes on for ever.
In a voice that is uniquely and intimately his own, with the disarming honesty that has always been his trademark, Keith Richard brings us the essential life story of our times.
©2010 Keith Richards (P)2010 Orion Publishing Group Limited
Most narrated by Keith himself, the book gives a somewhat biased view of the Rolling Stones by somebody who is not Mick Jagger. Often the band is perceived as Mick Jagger and the rest of them, but this book tells a different story. It is not a book of gossip, but just a recollection of experiences and the authors view on relationships.
Although I grew up listening to the Stones I would not have considered listening to this book ever, but a penfriend in Nashville (I live in New Zealand) told me how much he was enjoying reading the book so I thought I would give it a go. I am glad I did.
Keith is Keith. Johnny Depp tries to be Keith. Interestingly, Johnny Depp based his Captain Jack Sparrow accent and mannerisms on Keith Richard, who actually played Captain Jack's father in one of the movies.
hisThis may be a strange comment, but the book made me interested. There were no "LOL" moments but at times it made me sympathetic to the rock & roll heroes. I have not been a huge fan of the band, although I have all of their albums, but this book made me want to get them all out and re-evaluate them based on what was happening to the individual band members at the time.
Surprising good listen - well worth the 5 stars I gave it.
Beautifully narrated by Johnny Depp, (who's characterization of Captain Jack Sparrow, in the Pirates of the Caribbean, is based on Richards' peculiar mannerisms). This book takes us back to the very start of Keith Richards' life, in a small town in England, right efter the end of WWII.
There are big contrasts between passages that are raw and direct, (Richards' own words), and the flat and matter-of-fact expositions obviously written by his "ghost writer". This gives a great deal of heart and emotion to the many stories told from the long, and often unpleasant, life of Keith Richards.
Though having been a life-long Rolling Stones fan, I never knew the high level of musicianship that the members bring. Keith was a choir-boy, and highly trained musician, and listening to Keith's words around music and the making of music, one begins to realize that the stereotypical junkie, (who have been sober for decades), are a master of his profession: guitarist.
Biographies are either written like a historian wrote it, (often they are written by historians), or they are honest and raw. The raw ones are always the best. They make you laugh and cry, as joyous and gut-wrenchingly sad events are told. The "historian" biographies, only recite events and dates, and it becomes passionless; then the reader/listener don't get emotionally involved. I can tell you, there aren't a dull moment in the entire book, it's a roller-coaster ride of emotion. "Life", is reminiscent of the autobiographical books written by Richard Feynman; in that they reveal many layers to the persons'.
If you are looking for a good listen, buy it!
If you are a fan of the Rolling Stones, buy it!
If you want to understand how a handful of Englishmen, listening to Muddy Waters, went from obscurity, to become he most successful rock band of all time, buy it!
My life is a lot richer for having read/listened to this book, and you will probably feel the same!
It's very well written, funny and engaging. Extremely well narrated by Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley and Keith Richards
Great stories about how the Stones started
i think keith richards tells his life's story in a very amusing, warm and witty way. ost of it sounds honest sincere and warm in a back-down-memory-lane kind of way. it's quite enjoyable.
i'm only on chapter nine so far but his childhood and teenage years are a formidable listen.
i think johnny depp does an okay if slightly monotone job of reading richards youth.
there are attemps of trying a 'keef-speech' but he seems to manage to keep it subtle.
the following narrator, joe hurley, however, goes too far over the top with an almost unbearable slurr and overly 'loaded' tone of voice. a little too irish, maybe, too.
not that i dislike the irish accent, far from it. i just don't think it fits too well here.
i've yet to come to the part that richards reads himself but i#m very much looking forward to it.
all in all, so far, it's an enjoyable experience.
As a lifelong Rolling Stones fan, I felt this was a must read for me, but Im not sure it was such a good idea. LIFE is very much Keith's story, not necessarily The Rolling Stones, there is a lot of digression from the band's story but that's ok. The main problem I had with the book, was Keith's scathing and mean spirited attacks on Mick Jagger, it is relentless, adolescent and petty.
He doesnt portray his heroin addiction with rose coloured glasses, however I reckon he still holds a certain pride that he handled and subsequently survived the junk better than most.and the resulting unrepentant neglect, bordering on abuse, of his young son Marlon, whilst in the midst of his and Anita's self indulgent heroin abuse is what I found really disturbing. What a terribly lonely and dangerous childhood he had. I found the fact that Mick actually took the little boy for his first hamburger spoke more about the measure of a man and father that Mick Jagger was, than Keith could ever be at the time.
What is beautiful about this book, is his passion for The Stones and the music they have made, and there are some great stories along the way of the origins of many of their most well known and loved classics. His tributes to those musicians who inspired him and Mick in the very beginning are still who he holds most dear, his love for performance is truly felt in his words.
Anyway that's the story, and Keith holds it up for all to see. It was a lovely surprise to hear him narrate the final chapters and I would have loved him to have narrated the whole story. Unlike other reviewers I have read, I found Johnny Depp's voice quite emotionless and irritating after a while,.although Joe Hurley has a swagger befitting the author and was much easier to listen to.
After reading his story, Keith is still my hero, just more mortal and flawed to me now than he ever was before, and that's why Im not sure I should have read this book, I dont want to feel this way about him. Mick however remains my rock god.
No, I generally dont do books twice
narratives & storyline
Keith & Jonny were superb
rolling with the stones
I really enjoyed this book, one of the best audio books I have listened to. It had the feeling of sitting in the company of someone who knows how to tell a story and tells it well. Anecdotes (quite a few of those) and lots of facts about Keef himself and the Stones. If you are remotely interested in rock music, the seventies or just want a good listen, this is the book for you. Don't miss it!
always looking for the next fabulous audiobook. I'm so glad to have found the audible website.
the narrators do such a brilliant job of replicating nuances of language and expression.
A fabulous biography with lots of depth, personal, cultural, and musical, and never self indulgent. Keith gives credit to many people who contributed to his success. The story also manages to set the scene for the sixties and beyond, in which the Stones and those who collected around them appeared to live charmed lives.
I thoroughly enjoyed this listen.
First and foremost: This is a subjective review.
I enjoyed this book – but I also expected somehow "more". The first few chapters that deal with a very young Keith Richards are very interesting, nicely written and I even don't mind the narrator as much as others did. In fact, I think they're as close to Richards himself as it gets and still be listenable.
But by entering the middle/last third of the book it became kind of a drag with seemingly endless repetitions. I knew drugs played a huge part in Keith Richard's life but at a point it all just overshadows so much the events you'd like to hear more about, that it made me want to skip chapters.
"Life" just did not offer me any new insights in the actual life and thinking of a music legend. If you've followed Richard's life from the newspaper's view, then you'll learn new things from the first half/third of the book, the rest will feel as old news.
I loved the first part of this book but after a while it becomes very self indulgent and the innocence is lost. It doesn't really finish, rather ends with some aimless recollections.
Still it was an insightful read.
"You have to have this audiobook!"
One of the very best audiobooks I have ever listened to. Absolutely compulsive.
The change of narrators was an issue and slightly annoying at the time, but after a very short while I became accustomed to the new voice and agree with other reviewers in that the narrators FIT the period being narrated very well. And the final change at the end is simply sublime.
I can thoroughly reccomend this book to anyone who has ever even had a passing interest in The Rolling Stones and Keith Richards. He remembers everything in incredible detail and makes no excuses for anything. The matter-of-fact style is excellent and exactly what you would expect. The introduction gets you hooked immediately and sets the scene perfectly.
I also found it good to listen to the Stones albums inbetween chapters of the audiobook. This really brought the story to life even more and what Keith has written about a certain period dovetails perfectly with the style and feel of the music he made at the time.
I was vaguely aware of what The Rolling Stones has achieved before listening to this audiobook, but the music wasn't really my thing. I am now a fan of both Keith and his music.
I can't talk the audiobook up enough - a true MUST LISTEN!
To look at the life of Keith Richards; Rock Star, travelling the world, lost friends, Altamont, drug addictions, women throwing themselves at him, you'd be hard pushed to make any part of it boring; But somehow, 'Keef' has done just that. I don't know how, but this book is dull;
He spends pages waxing lyrical about how important he and the band have been to modern music, and then skirts over them demoting their keyboard player to roadie because he wasn't photogenic enough. The prose is made harder to slog through by the usually-reliable Mr Depp's wooden reading.
I've only made it as far as the end of the first section, when world fame is gathering apace whilst the band tours the USA, but I'm bored rigid. Such a wasted opportunity.
"What a hoot."
Just awesome. Johnny Depp's narration is a master stroke. What a legend! Can't quite believe he is still knocking around after all he has been through.
Sadly, though I (and a friend) struggled through two hours of Johnny Depp's monotonous narration, that was as much as we could bear.
It was hard to know if it was his dull delivery and shocking attempt at an English accent plus mispronunciation of certain place names, etc. or the actual text of the book which was so boring. I agree with one of the previous reviews in that buying the book would have been preferable but, having listened to the first two hours, I am not disposed to waste my money.
"Poor narration. Narrative lost midway."
Johnny Depp narration for the first segment was engaging as was the narrative and pace around the early years.
Switches to poor, sloppy narration with Joe Hurley - frankly off putting. Story loses pace and interest... with what felt like endless fairly uninteresting narrative about sex, drugs and intermittent rock n roll.
"Great book from Keith,"
I never thought I would enjoy it so much. Plenty of fun! Good to learn about the man and his music.
"It's interesting, but you probably know most"
It's interesting, but you probably know most stories already. If you grew up in that era, you'll love it.
"Good till Joe Hurley starts talking."
I like the life story of Keith Richards as read by Johnny Depp, but when Joe Hurley takes over I just can't listen.
God knows what Hurley is playing at, but it ruins the book. So fake it's comical.
Enjoyed this so much. Incredibly sad when it was finished! Keith's description of Ronnie Wood clinging onto a horse for dear life and his crap African safari had me in stitches.
Well worth listening to, you get a deeper meaning of what it takes to be a successful musician.
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