Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I've been enjoying Keith Richard's autobiography, "Life." Candid and articulate, at odds with his image as a drug-binging, riff-slinging guitar player for the notorious Stones, the book begins like a Dickens story in a poor, sooty neighborhood of London--with Keith getting picked on by bullies at school, practicing his guitar, listening to American blues--and it takes us through the early days of the Stones and their worldwide success. Don't get me wrong, the drugs and sex and rock star debauchery are all there, in huge Keith-size portions, but the old pirate tells his story with heart and soul and cool intelligence that might surprise you. He doesn't come on like some celebrity in rehab, an archetype all too familiar in these confessional times, and he doesn't join the parade of morbidly self-involved actors and musicians spilling their guts on talk shows. Nope, Keith doesn't join anyone's parade. Sure, he kicked heroin and he tells the good, the bad and the ugly of this love/hate affair, but there is plenty more to Keith's wild ride. The love of his life is music, and he couldn't kick that if he tried.

Here's a clip of Keith singing "Before They Make Me Run," which is another autobiography, this time in miniature, but it's all there: playing the gigs, getting high, kicking smack and cleaning up his act. Watch those taillights fading...

Worked these bars and sideshows along the twilight zone--only a crowd can make you feel so alone and it really hit home. Booze and pills and powders, you gotta choose your medicine--Well, here's another goodbye to another good friend.

After all is said and done, I gotta move while it's still fun. I'm gonna walk before they make me run.

"Slippin' Away" is a sweet ballad and it reminds me of something Keith once said: "Everyone talks about rock these days; the problem is they forget about the roll."

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