Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Review of Keith Richards' New Book, "Life"

Keith Richards
I just finished reading Keith Richards' 547 page book "Life". I love a lot of songs that the "Rolling Stones"have written and performed but I have not followed their long and successful career very closely. I started the book knowing very little about Keith Richards except that he is a great guitarist and part of the foundation of the "Stones". I did not know what I would learn but I did expect to read a lot of about drugs, women, booze and rock and roll. However, this book turned out to be much more than a review of these topics. The book is a must for the following groups: fans of the "Stones", any guitar player, anyone that loves rock & roll and anyone who loves classic American Blues.  Keith tells his life experiences in what I believe is a clear and remarkably honest way.  We have all read about supper star musicians who turn into monsters as they start to reach the heights of stardom and financial independence but this is not Keith's story.  I have always had the most respect for performers who never forget who they are and where they came from. However, there are few mega stars that I have known that can achieve this pure quality of reality. Keith Richards is one of the exceptions. What amased me the most about Keith is that he never needed to become a major star in order to find his true happiness.  Keith has always loved R & B and classic blues coming out of the Black South and would have been happy to just be locked up in a room with a few guitars and his favorite records. What comes across to the reader in his book is Keith's love for music, without much interest in fame and the money that comes with it. Keith is a rare bird when it comes to this thinking.

The second most amasing fact that becomes clear to the reader is that there is no way Keith Richards should be alive today. His abuse of his body with not only drugs and alcohol but his lifestyle. A life with total focus on music both played and written.

The last interesting part of this book was the stories Keith relates about the many great musicians that he admired, studied, played with and passed through his life. I found this information very entertaining.  "Life" is a book that is not only informative but fun to read!

Music Man Awards This Book  "4 Quarter Notes"!

4 Quarter Notes=  Excellent Book, Must Read
3 Quarter Notes=  Good Book
2 Quarter Notes=  Somewhat Interesting
1 Quarter Note =   Save Your Time and Money  


  1. I have read the book twice...once in hardback, once on my NOOK...and I LOVED it! I spent an afternoon in the pool at the Holiday Inn North in Jackson, Mississippi with the Stones, just before they opened for Herman's Hermits. They were all pretty cool...Brian was a tad "out there," as was Mick...but Keef and Charlie (gawdammit, what a DRUMMER!!!) were great...especially to an 11-year-old (who was conversant in their music) on a summer afternoon.

    Good on ya', Music Man!

    Victor from the Rancho Mirage Public Library

  2. Hey Victor: So glad to get your comments and thanks for keeping current with my music blog. This really is a great book. I just finished the Steven Tyler book and it was a let down after enjoying the RIchards book. See you again in January!

  3. I too just finished the book and was also surprised that the content contained another side of Keith Richards that one would not expect. I think he is a very talented man who is certainly lucky to be alive today.

  4. Hi Katmando: Thanks for the comment. I just finished reading the Stephen Tyler book and I don't think it measures up to the Richards book.


CD Review: "Five Play Live from the Firehouse Stage"

Five Play is a popular Jazz Band where five remarkably talented women musicians perform with a deep sense of traditional Jazz band m...