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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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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,882
  • 4 Stars
    1,137
  • 3 Stars
    503
  • 2 Stars
    170
  • 1 Stars
    112

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,404
  • 4 Stars
    642
  • 3 Stars
    322
  • 2 Stars
    110
  • 1 Stars
    66

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,396
  • 4 Stars
    662
  • 3 Stars
    321
  • 2 Stars
    97
  • 1 Stars
    57
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  • Overall

interesting but reader changing distracting !

The book starts off read by Johnny Depp...a great start then abruptly changes to the gravelly voice of Joe Hurley - who does a great job no doubt except his "Keith" voice ( with accent ) is even a bit too slow for Richards himself and me - more importantly the change leaves you trying to adjust and thereby taking away form the story for the next 30 minutes.
Then at the end comes Depp again....this transition feels somewhat smoother as Depp's voice isn't so hard to adjust to.
I still enjoyed the read...fascinating to hear but I would most definitely have stuck with one reader !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Entertaining / Enlightening / Frightening

I've read several reviews and must agree with those that say that the narration is terrible, not well done, or does not make sense. Joe Hurley did a wonderful job. He should probably done most if not all of the book. The last several chapters narrated by KR himself, are good because you hear his true voice - cirgarettes being lit and all. JD is terrible. In the beginning his voice is AmeroEnglish and a cheap KR immitation at the end. It was really distracting and held no continuity.
THAT BEING SAID....the STORIES KR tells are hilarious in their historical context. He is unforgiving and takes no prisoners. He names, names. He tells it like he remembers it and does not hold back. Very different from Eric Clapton's "couched" version of a bio.
I'm a woman and a feminist and I was not offended by KR's use of language pertaining to my sex. I'm 43...he's 66. Different times, historical context is important!
I loved how he described his passion for music and how he and his cohorts of the time pursued their craft. I appreciate how much he loves his art.
The real hero in this book is his son Marlon. How he came out to be a well educated, well adjusted, fully functioning and straight (as in not f'ed up on drugs) adult, is a testimony to his own internal and personal strength. He really did learn from the mistakes of his parents.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Moire
  • Linden, VA, United States
  • 01-27-11

Sex, drugs, Rock & Roll in a REALLY LONG memoir

I have to think that the 5 star reviews are from people who did not listen to all 23 hours (at least you get your money's worth). The last 12 hours are just repeated stories of sex, drugs and rr -- no particular insights, personal growth, intellectual stimulation -- really good smack, beautiful jugs, really rockin music. Lots of name dropping -- but no character insights (got high with John Lennon -- but nothing about why he and John Lennon were special to each other, was it just getting high? same with Graham Parsons). Except for sex and drugs, why did he love Anita Pallenberg? Why did Mick & Marianne break up?

And the narration is really weird. Johnny Depp doesn't work because the story is British -- Joe Hurley doesn't provide enough variety to help listeners figure out who's voice is telling the story.

It's an amazing history of the Rolling Stones -- but since so little insight is included, it could have been told by an author who clipped headlines for 50 years. Maybe Keef figured out his life by going through the headlines and really doesn't remember it all.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lindora
  • Corralitos, CA United States
  • 01-22-11

Kind of a slog for non-musician

Although a 48 year-old fan of the Rolling Stones, I am struggling to get through this book. It is well-written, but perhaps would have been more appropriately titled "Musician." It includes a lot of detail on the music and musicians who inspired Richards which I, as a non-musician, find very dull. Were I reading the book in print it might be easier to get through those (by flipping pages), but it is hard to do when listening on an Ipod. I enjoyed Eric Clapton's biography, because, although it included his musical inspirations, their descriptions didn't go on and on. Clapton focused more on relationships, which I'd hoped would be the same with Richards. He comes across as very bright and artistically talented person, but I don't think I am part of the audience he's is writing for. True music lovers will get more out of this book than those like me, who find descriptions of musical notes, sounds, and styles to be as interesting as listening to a physics lecture. (No offense to my husband, the physics major.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sherralyn
  • Meridian, ID, United States
  • 01-18-11

Rollin' On

This is the first review I've written, and have listened to many, many books. This one...Wow! Keith Richards pulls no punches. It's nasty, real, and funny as hell. Living the Life he has, he really has no right to actually be living! Joe Hurleys narration was right on, keeping the listener enchanted, and giggling at the outrageous antics of what I found after a while to be a charming personality. Get over the misogyny thing, he was a man of his time and told it how it was. No brown sugar coating. No apologies. Loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Too much book, not enough story

This book would have been far more interesting if it were about 1/3 as long. The early part, read very well by Johnny Depp, did pull me in but after that, though still very well read (I actually thought it was Keith himself reading for awhile) it slowed way down and took the slogan "drugs, sex, rock-n-roll" bit too seriously - alternating of course with jail and presumably stints in rehab, though I didn't get that far. If you're a major fan, you might enjoy it but too long and too repetitive for me, I didn't get halfway through the second of THREE looong segments.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

So disappointed!

I was really looking forward to the audiobook release of this book, and was thrilled when it became available. The Rolling Stones were "it" for me, growing up in the '60s and '70s.

Others have complained about Johnny Depp as narrator. Personally, it wasn't a problem for me. I knew the book was being read to me, not spoken by the author. And JD reads well.

Notwithstanding the fact that it waffles on with too much irrelevant detail (where was the editor?), it was very jarring when suddenly, someone began reading in a pseudo-English-working-class accent. I found it very distracting, as I know how people like KR speak. The speaker had too many "hard r's" to be legit in being from that area. I found it too distracting listening to him, which annoyed me immensely. I feel that I should be able to "return" this book, because of the silly way that was done. Why have one person reading it, then suddenly switch to someone else, who is awful?

Surely someone actually from England would've been a better choice, if they wanted the accent?

What I felt was "deceived".

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

What a Ride!

Having at least 3 dozen audio books under my belt, this one, next to
The Help, was my favorite. Surprising how moving, entertaining and absorbing this book was...I was sorry it ended and now am reluctant to download my next book for fear nothing is going to match up. I tried to figure out what exactly was so great about it and it is a combination of things. First off, I don't think "reading" it could compare to the sound of Keith's gravelly, deep voice telling his own story. It was like he was right there shootin the shit with me while I'm ironing my clothes! Seriously, who knew Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones valued his Boy Scout experience as a high point in his life.

I could go on and on..but suffice to say, this is a must for all audio book fans...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lila
  • Northport, AL, United States
  • 12-06-10

What a ride!

Never a dull moment--not even when he explains guitar riffs, and I don't play the guitar or understand much about the technical aspects of music-making. Stones fans will love the inside scoop on how certain songs were written, and this includes the debunking of quite a few mythical interpretations of lyrics.

Richards and his co-writer manage a huge amount of material brilliantly. The writing style is conversational, which perfectly suits the first-person account and its subject matter. I feel as if I know Keith Richards now, and for all his wildness, like the guy very much, thank you.

Johnny Depp does a fine enough job narrating his portion, but Joe Hurley is magnificent. Along with his expressiveness, he has a convincing accent and a similar throatiness in his voice as the author's, who also makes a brief appearance in the narration. Dig it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Andy
  • Westport, CT, United States
  • 12-05-10

almost like being there

For the stories that Keith Richards did write about, they were descriptive and gritty. While I wouldn't consider this a comprehensive look at his life, he does share a wide range of tidbits with us. Narration was first rate.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful