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
Never a dull moment, well narrated by the various voices - including Keith. A take me as i am, this is the way it was story behind the man and the band. Great insights into the creative process behind many great songs, living with multiple addictions, and life on the road. You don't have to be a rock fan to enjoy this story. Loved it.
"Hugely Enjoyable - Including the narrators"
The book itself is an amazing array of stories and anecdotes and a hugely enjoyable listen. A lot of people are criticizing the narrators, Jo Hurley more than Johnny Depp, but I found that they both gave life and personality to the text. You kind of need the experience of Hurley to prepare you for Keith himself at the end. Stick with the narrators. They do take some time to get used to, particularly Hurley when he starts rather abruptly, but I found that they added rather than detracted overall.
A terrific book!
Enjoyed the listen, and it is a great story. Probably a bit longer than it needed to be, and the abrupt changes in narrator are a little annoying.
Had bought this as I had a few credits spare and am a fan of the early Stones stuff up till bout early 70's. Didn't really expect that much, more because didn't think that Keith would really remember much in the way of details BUT was most definitely very surprised at the amount I enjoyed it and the clarity of what must be a very very damaged memory. I would definitely recommend this to any stones fan of anyone who is old enough to have an idea of who they really are and not the sad old OAP's that tour every now and then.
"Life well told. Like listening to the man himself!"
I really enjoyed the slightly rambling series of adventures and anecdotes that comprise this book. Most of all I really enjoyed Joe Hurley's narration - for he made it like listening to the man himself, perhaps slightly stoned, perhaps in some darkened bar, after midnight, telling anecdotes of his life. It was always a pleasure to resume his company and hear another tale about the Stones.
There is a bit of a jarring moment in the change of narrator, from Johnny Depp's relatively "straight" style, to Joe Hurley's more "Keith Richards" like style, but don't let that put you off. Persevere, and you may come, like me, to prefer the new style.
The book opens with the band getting chased and ambushed by the DEA, and much of the early book is about drugs, busts and trying to evade the police, peppered with the tangled sexual relationships, and the encounters with other musicians, that comprised the Stones sex, drugs and rock-n-roll lifestyle. Always, the priority is the music.
Seemingly never suffering a moment of angst, on this roller coaster of catastrophes, I have to admire Keith Richards stamina (often he would not sleep for days, composing in his studio), and his attitude of going with the flow, even in the midst of a crisis.
Of course he won't have pleased Mick Jagger with this book, as he portrays him (maybe unfairly) as narcissistic and vain. However, despite the tensions, there is a grudging affection, and mutual admiration which comes through. I guess there would have to be for them to still be performing together after all this time.
Overall, a well told, anecdotal, slightly stoned, roller coaster of a ride, through the eyes (and ears) of one member of perhaps the most famous band on the planet.
"Keep on Rollin'"
Fast paced, funny, dark and very entertaining, as you'd expect from someone like Keeeeefff, can highly recommend!
"Over long, gets a bit dull"
You'll probably love this if you're a Stones fan.
If not buy Life and Laughing by Michael McIntyre, which is a much better autobiography
I was looking forward to listening to this. I was somewhat surprised at first when it was Johnny Depp reading but then completely shocked when suddenly someone else took over. Joe Hurley was awful with his ersatz cockney and stoned out rock'n'roller drone. I gave up on this and couldn't listen any more. My advice - read the book!!
I was so looking forward to this. I grew up with the Stones, my brother's favourite band, whilst I was a blues and Tamla man. Well if you want to know more about drugs get this book . I only got through a third and got fed up with it. boring boring boring.
"Too much too young"
I grew up in the UK with the Stones providing the soundtrack for my teenage years, so this should have been a happy trip down memory lane.
I'd been given this book as a hardback but because of the size of the tome I'd not got around to reading it and I thought this was an easier entry point.
I got through the first 7 hours of the story quite easily and then....ye gods I can only take Keith's huge ego in small bursts and the subsequent 15+ hours of the story was a real labour of determination over enjoyment.
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.
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