Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Review: LIFE Keith Richards

Life begins with the atypical rock and roll story. Rock star on a road trip, gets busted for a car full of drugs and then all charges dismissed as a result of an illegal search. At first I thought oh no this is going to be a long book (some 547 pages) however it transpired into a very interesting book indeed.

Keith and his co author James Fox write a compelling story of a life beginning with extreme poverty but loads of love and ending being one of the most famous guitarists of all time and a member of one of the most successful bands of all time. How Keith gets there on his journey of story of highs and lows including stories of Mick and Keith sharing flats together not having enough coins to fill the electricity meter, how the band came to be including the passing of some members and how songs were written for the band. Keith’s relationships with women are very interesting; he had a strong relationship with his mother playing an important part in his life, his very troubled relationship with Anita Pallenberg to his current wife Patti Hansen who seems to have settled him into a life of contentment with the world. His relationship with Mick Jagger is also discussed, Mick and Keith have known each other since early childhood and their relationship is fraught with egos and control. However it is probably like any relationship that has been going for a very long time, it has its ups and downs but essentially they are very successful together. Of course there are the drug stories and how he beat a decade of heroin addiction, it's all good and a great insight into how the life of a rock star is.

I would recommend this book to anybody, there are no horror stories just a life of tremendous success, ups and downs that we all have. A great read.

Reviewer | Pennie Hayes
26 January 2011

Authors | Keith Richards & James Fox
Title | Life


  1. Ketih is amazing, I will definitely be reading this. I'm sure it'll be 5 x better than Claptons

  2. I finished this book last week, and I found it difficult to put down. Not only his rags to riches story, but his travails with heroine, his philosophy on relationships and his relationship with Mick.

    In particular, the many worlds he's touched, including the underworld, the extraordinary wealthy and famous and the black musicians he clearly identified with in jazz, blues and Jamaican music. His relationship with Mick is familial with the sort of jealousies, rivalries and loyalties that one would have with a brother - 'the glimmer twins' as they christened themselves.

    One thing that has struck me about Keith is the transformation in his character that is obvious from all the photos and interviews one sees. In his younger years he never smiled for the camera unless it was a sneer and his interviews were unfriendly at best, hostile at worst. In later years his ragged visage has a warmth that his youthful handsome face lacked and his interviews are more conversational and candid. This is a man, one feels, who dealt with his demons and won.

    Regards, Paul.