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Narrated by: Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley
Length: 23 hrs and 5 mins
4 out of 5 stars (4,624 ratings)

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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
    5 out of 5 stars

Ins and outs

To be put off by Johnny Depp's great intro or disappointed by Joe Hurley's almost perfect rendition of Keith Richard's voice is quite simply a linear reaction to a sea-full of Keith's unfiltered and lively experiences through the backdrop of the Rolling Stone's birth and growth.These guys lived and breathed that music which shaped our lives everyday during that period of time we were growing up.

If you were born between 1945 and 1955, then you will want to listen to this book so that you can come to terms with the tapestry of your life where all this music still exits and comes back as you hear Keith Richards explain where, when, and more importantly, WHY he created all those great songs.

Here's what you do : As you listen to the book,and begin the journey, every time a new song is mentioned, stop the book, go over to Youtube and listen to it done live by the Stones, then come back to the book. It will parallel your life and peg where you were at the time. Lots of fun and if music has always played an important part of your life, Keith's and Mick's songs will be inextricable adhered to the inside of your skull. It's in the total sum of who we are, right?

This book is a candid view into what propelled the greatest rock and roll band through the 60's, the 70's and some of the 80's and how the Rolling Stones are in part, responsible for the voice of rebellion, the cause for change and defined the freedom that we all yearned for or experienced during those tumultuous times. Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's because I've been a blues guitarist since 1960, but I would not want to imagine a world without this music in it. I mean, who wants to live without rock and roll, man?
This is not a book, this is a rock and roll history lesson.

If every time you hear "Satisfaction" you get that tingle inside of you that puts you back to that night, that party, that girl or guy, that vacation, that point that was DEFINED by this song, you're gonna want to listen to this book.

134 of 136 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • mack
  • millburn, NJ, United States
  • 11-22-10

What a Life

I am well into Chapter 5 of part 3 and I'm amazed. What a life. How has he lived long enough to tell this story? With his love of making music, he has overcome self-debasement and simply had to survive to tell all of this. There is candor and risk and success and error. His addictions and the tragedy of Gram Parson's are intertwined and troubling. He is accused of misogyny, but I don't hear him promising more than he gave and I'm not certain he treated anyone worse than himself. I'm glad he told it as it was instead of some tidy, self-reverential, cleaner version. Oh, and he could care less about redemption, he's been too busy living.

I was jarred and confused when the narration went from Depp to Hurley. Both are excellent, but I don't like the inconsistency of voice and if I could choose between the two, I'd choose Hurley's narration. Hurley has the growl and the grittyness and the laugh and the accent just right.

This is a book to be listened to, a tale told brilliantly in the large smoky living room of an old, musty faded-glory house, perhaps in France. Keith, thanks for letting me sit on the floor as you shared your life so far with all its wonders and warts.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Storytelling!

I originally planned to buy the hardcover the moment it hit stores - I'm a huge Stones fan. But I am really glad I heard about the audiobook, because Keith's storytelling really lends itself to the listenting experience. I'm only 4 hours in, but Johnny Depp's performance is pitch-perfect. He's never over the top - you feel like he really "gets" Keith in ways most people wouldn't. I also took a listen to Keith's part at the end and could really hear how passionate he is about telling his story - what an amazing life.

I'm absolutely certain I'll buy the hardcover to make my library complete, but I'm so glad I took the chance to hear it first. I think the amazing tales are going to stick with me a long time - what a privilege it is to get to hear the intimate, behind-the-scenes stories told by the one who really lived it. The bonus PDF of pictures is great as well - you feel like you're getting a peek into Keith's personal photo album.

79 of 83 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KP
  • Oakland, CA
  • 11-10-10

good for Stones fans

It was fascinating! If you have always loved The Rolling Stones and rock and roll and have a lot of nostalgia about the 60's... then I think you'd find Keith Richards memoir fascinating, too. It is long, but most of the time, well, I was just blown away hearing about all the stuff Keith Richards did. He has a great conversational style; listening was fun - kind of like sitting in the living room hearing him tell about his life (with help from Johnny Depp and one other reader.) What really shines through is his absolute love of music as well as his totally undisciplined and wild, wild life style. I liked it toward the end when he tells about how Tony Blair wrote him a get well letter (after an accident) and said, "Dear Keith, You've always been one of my heroes..." Then Keith says, "England's in the hands of someone I'm the hero of? That's frightening." I also liked the ending when he sits on the end of his dying mom's bed and plays Malaguena for her. That was one of the first songs he learned at the beginning of the book, so it seemed to be a good frame for the ending... and kind of touching.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Todd
  • Princeton, NJ, United States
  • 11-05-10

They are both geniuses, and I need a drink.

Richards. Depp. One Credit. Over 20-hours of time well spent. One of the best audiobook experiences I've ever had.

64 of 69 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Reston, Virginia
  • 08-23-11

So glad I stayed with this book

I absolutely loved this book, and was sad to say goodbye to Keith. He reveals himself, despite all the flaws, to be a really nice man, very generous with praise for fellow musicians and others who populated his life along the way. Their is no doubt that it is his voice we hear, no matter who is narrating (though I do admit that the change of narrators did detract somewhat from my enjoyment.) In the first few hours, the amount of technical detail about music and guitar playing was hard to slog through for a non-musician, but it made me appreciate how skilled and knowledgeable he is - not just a good guitar player. Nice job, Keith. Live long and prosper.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Ozark, MO, United States
  • 11-16-10

Listen for yourself and see if Keef bashes Mick

I've read 2 psuedo reviews from reviewers who obviously didn't read the book and assumed Keef bashes Mick throughout. Quite the contrary, Keef is honest about Mick's shortcomings but respects and honors his Glimmer Twin as having cared for him like a brother and tended to the band business when he could not himself. Read the book yourself and be your own judge.

Curious though, why Depp reads the first few chapters of the book then is replaced by the British voiceover of Joe Hurley? Freaked me out, the change in narrator voice. Anyone know the answer?

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • michael
  • lowell, MA, United States
  • 11-03-10


I have downloaded over 50 audiobooks here on and this book is the best hands down!! What an amazing life Mr. Richards has led. He pulls no punches here, spills his guts! I couldn't stop listening. Any fan of music will love this book.
The guy who wrote the review here saying the book is ruined by an American narrator has no idea what he's talking about. Half of the book is narrated by Joe Hurley who sounds just like Keith with a thick English accent and the rest is done superbly by the one and only Johnny Depp. This guy didn't even listen to the book I bet.
This book rules!! 5 stars!!!

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars


Keith is alot funnier than I expected. His humor is very dry and the story very detailed.

31 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • gahanna, oh, United States
  • 04-17-12

Masterfully Told Life

What did you love best about Life?

When one listens to K.R. speak in an interview, he will occasionally come off as uninterested in the questions he's asked and responds with a 'you had to be there, baby' attitude that lets you know his answer won't even scrape the iceberg of the real story.This book, 24 hours long, leaves you begging for more. It was brilliantly written and conceived and gives fans insight into one of the most under appreciated rockers of all time.

What does Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ok...I'm going to say it....the LOWPOINT of the book is Johnny Depp's couple of chapters before Joe Hurley takes over. Depp is so far out of his element that I'm almost embarrassed for him, and I'm a real Depp fan! Joe Hurley might be guilty of trying to read the body of the book in a fake K.R. accent and style, but when K.R. himself reads the final chapter, you realize how spot on Hurley was in his depiction.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful