I am having a blast reading Rolling Stone Keith Richards’ memoir Life, which has been on the NYT Bestseller list for 21 weeks now. It’s delightfully written in a recognizable entertaining voice. Obviously co-writer James Fox put a lot of work into it, but the book still rings true.
Reviewers have raved, including Liz Phair in the NYT:
James Fox, Keith’s co- author, deserves a lot of credit for editing, organizing and elegantly stepping out of the way of Keith’s remembrances. Reading “Life” is like getting to corner Keith Richards in a room and ask him every thing you ever wanted to know about the Rolling Stones, and have him be completely honest with you. Here’s how he describes recording: “Well, I’ve got to tame this beast one way or another. But how to tame it? Gently, or give it a beating? . . . I’ll take you twice the speed I wrote you! You have this sort of relationship with the songs. . . . You ain’t finished till you’re finished, O.K.? . . . No, you weren’t supposed to go there. Or sometimes you’re apologizing: I’m sorry about that. No, that was certainly not the way to go. Ah, they’re funny things. They’re babies.”
Here’s my coverage of Mick Jagger’s Q & A to accompany the Stones in Exile doc in Cannes last year, about the recording of Exile on Main Street. Check out this 1993 video interview with Richards by Hunter S. Thompson, below:
[Photo of Keith Richards from Getty Images.]