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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"[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)

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  • Overall
  • M
  • Dover, DE, United States
  • 12-05-10

One Rough Ride

I see a complaint that Keith Richards is not the narrator. Well Keith opens, hands it off to Johnny Depp where it's picked up by Joe Hurley (Keith's voice extraordinaire) and it's great! As I listened I thought "Wow..Keith is all over the place telling this". Yes, it's written from mid beginning's to childhood, school mates, the 1970s, childhood, hometown, school mates, etc BUT it's coherent! It's written like your sitting there across from Keith and he's telling you his story and it all flows, clearly and evenly as you listen. So no con on this.
Some insights. Nothing that's going to make yer mind go boom but insights that may make you think: "'s a hard , hard life they all had/have.". I did. Not to mention the police harassment. A jolly good read and thank you Mr Richards for letting yer ya ya's out. (Note: Not a spoiler but there IS a surprise and it's a gas)
BTW Keith I learned to play "Malaquena" but I still ain't "in".
Thanks for adding so much pleasure to my life. I realise you paid to do it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sonia
  • Broad Brook, CT, United States
  • 11-28-10

A cool cat with way more than nine lives!

Ah, Keef...thanks for the memories, mate. So glad you could stay with us long enough to share your story. This book is a must for any Stones fan.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Beyond Satisfaction

This book is a breath of fresh air! A no-nonsense, self aware, critical and often hilarious look at Keith Richards' life and times with, and without, The Rolling Stones. An added plus for musicians is his analysis and description of his, and those he admired, playing styles, techniques and open chord theory.

This is truly an outstanding autobiography that has to rank as one of the finest ever written.

I can't recommend this strongly enough. Get it, Listen, and Rock On!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeff
  • Bloomingdale, Illinois
  • 11-24-10


Audio books don't get much better than this. Fascinating look at music legend's life - ups and downs. Seems very honest in the telling. Narration is spot on. KR comes across as much more than just a drugged up rocker. I enjoyed this as much as the Andre Agassi autobiography. Highly recommended!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Timothy
  • Burlington, Ontario, Canada
  • 11-24-10

What a surprise!

I'm really stunned at how good this book is. It shouldn't be a surprise that Keith Richard is such a great story teller; after all that's what songwriting is. His portrayal of growing up in post war London is vivid and visceral; Dickens in a ducktail hair-do. In spite of his hair raising lifestyle he comes off as a bright, perceptive and very funny guy. Not for the faint of heart, this is a fabulous, adult -sized slice of life.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Absolutely the best Rock Biography Ever written

Where does Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

top 10

Any additional comments?

Keith Richards went from a rock talent to an absolute rock god in my mind with this book.

  • Overall

Awesome audiobook

If you are a fan of rock & roll and love great storytelling you can't go wrong with this book. Great, funny and remarkable story telling by Keith Richards. A sure thing

  • Overall


What a great book! I laughed and cried. God bless you, Keith Richards. You and the Stones are Rock and Roll icons.

  • Overall
  • Klare
  • Monroe, NY, United States
  • 11-13-10

if you like rock & roll...

You will like this book. The work it took for Keith to become one the top guitarist is detailed. The background of how many of their great songs were born and then there is the crazy life and you wonder how he survived.

  • Overall
  • Eileen
  • Encino, CA, United States
  • 11-13-10

What a Life!

I have always liked the Rolling Stones, but never appreciated them the way I should have ... this autobiography made me go back and listen again to the music. Keith Richards is far more articulate than he should be given his years of drug abuse, all of which is recounted candidly and without regret. I admire his honesty even if I couldn't make the same choices that he did.

The narration was confusing -- starting with Johnny Depp and then suddenly switching to another reader, before returning to Johnny and ultimately finishing with Keith's own voice. Johnny Depp's recording was a bit stilted, but easy to follow, however.