I read so few books these days, that we have a serious lack of literature postings in the blog. Let´s hear it then for a rock biography today, because after 550 pages of Keith Richards "Life" (Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2010), I´m ready to recommend it!
It may not be great literature in the classic sense (but who cares?), and it wouldn´t hurt if it was 450 pages, but it is some story he has to tell, and quite incredible that he remembers anything at all!
And yes, we have even read some of it already, but don´t worry about it, we get growing up in England, early blues and rock & roll influences, Rolling Stones from beginning to the end (?), loads of drugs, a rough life on the road (meeting people like Gram Parsons), and finally what seems like a happy family life! Lovely!
We get pretty close to Mick Jagger and what looks like a love and hate relationship, and Richards has got some nice words for a bunch of other musicians (including Rolling Stones members), but I wonder a bit about Bill Wyman! After reading the book, I only seem to remember that he made lousy tea and bragged about the number of women on his list!
Keith Richards seems to be the down to earth rock & roller we know, digging his blues and with no need for glamour. I just had to visit the basement to find some Slim Harpo, Chuck Berry and John Lee Hooker albums to play while I was reading. Jagger wnated to bring in new disco infected stuff, and he wanted top studio equipment. Richards on the other side wonder why he was able to make fantastic music in a naked room in Jamaica, while a high tech studio could ruin it all: "----and now with fifteen microphones I get a drum sound that´s like someone shitting on a tin roof?"
The guy seems to love his food too, cooking at all hours if he is hungry. We even get a recipe for bangers and mash, and I won´t ruin the story for you, but remember this; if you are invited to his home, do not touch the spring onions!