This month I finally completed listening to the audiobook of Keith Richards‘ autobiography, Life. For me, the best parts were his thoughts about the magic of performance and songwriting, along with hearing the intimate details of how some of my favorite records like Exile on Main Street came together.
“Believe it or not, I remember everything”
The parts where he gripes at length about Mick Jagger and Brian Jones got kinda tiresome, but I understand why they’re included, and the rest of the book more than makes up for it. For example, his unwavering respect and reverence of Charlie Watts is a constant theme. Also, the guy wrote Gimme Shelter, so, hey.
It’s only Rock ‘N’ Roll
I especially enjoyed the first half of the book, learning about Richards’ upbringing and what makes Keith, Keith. Hearing firsthand what it was like for a young rock ‘n roll band in the early ’60s and just how much these guys all revered American blues music was captivating and enlightening.
As for the audiobook itself, Keith narrates a few chapters at beginning and end; Johnny Depp does a few as well, and the majority is expertly read by Joe Hurley. They even won some formal recognition. All that aside, for an absolutely smashing one-on-one of the man himself doing the talking, definitely check out “Ask Keith” at Keith’s website.
Overall, this was a supremely compelling book, and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in the history of rock ‘n’ roll or even vaguely interested in the Stones. Because, bottom line: Keith is the real deal.
Musical accompaniment for this post:
Rocks Off, from Exile on Main Street
What do you think? Experienced any good audiobooks lately? What are your thoughts on the history of rock? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- Keith Richards on the record (boston.com)
- LOOK: It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (huffingtonpost.com)
- You CAN always get what you want (if you’re the Rolling Stones) (time4sleep.co.uk)
- ‘Spanish Tony’ – Assistant who aired out Rolling Stones’ dirty laundry (voxxi.com)
- Rolling Stones headed back on the road (cbc.ca)
- Keith Richards – the advertising years (wklondon.typepad.com)