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
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"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.
"Fun ride with good ole' Keith and Johnny"
It must be one of the most pleasant audio books ever, I must admit.
You listen to Johnny Depp's reading and to Keith Richards intros and you think: Man, this is worthwhile indeed. Very pleasant and entertaining experience. Both thumbs way up!
"Excellent & recomended"
Although I am a keen music fan (and have seen the Stones twice) I was not a particular Keef fan until I listened to this recording which I enjoyed thouroughly. KR is clearly an intelligent, dedicated musician who has lived life to the full. I enjoyed the change of reader and especially KR himself reading the last section. His tale is fascinating, funny, scary, realistic and very elightening. Yes there a long stories about his drug taking but there are also many insights into the workings of a band, the personalities, what life is like as a so called ikon and much else besides. I liked the man and now listen to the Stones and his solo music with a great deal more interest.
"This truth is truly stranger than fiction"
This book should be experienced as an audiobook for its full brilliance. It is like settling down to a postprandial fug of cigar smoke and brandy in a Rangoon bar. Johnny Depp sets the Charles Marlow scene before handing over to the minstrel Keith Richards to regale with the tales of his inimitable life. I found his voice perfect to tell his tales complete with sardonic laugh. The drug years are there of course but dealt with sensitively, never gratuitously or over glorified. They were a fact of life in the 60s and 70s, as now, and Keith explains how they were just a tool of the trade keeping a happy balance enabling 9 sleepless days and nights to produce some of the best rock and roll ever made. There is much humour and insight on incidents such as the most famous Mars Bar in history, Marianne Faithful and the Redlands bust. There is also the Richard's simple Philosophy on life from one of its most entertaining characters. Its either the s**t or not the s**t. Keith, as far as I can tell, is honest, real and by and large a nice bloke and one I would like to have a pint with. This is the next best thing and the closest I will ever get. I listened to it while walking the dog. I now have a thin dog. Thoroughly recommended to anyone who likes a true story from an entertaining storyteller.
Long live Rock n Roll - Long live Keith Richards.
not the best, his voice drove me crazy, it's him talking about the amount of drugs he did and ugh sounds like hearing one of my college school mates bragging about their weekend. just wouldn't recommend it.
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