Late Night Listening – and Reading – with Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones

Okay, it’s past midnight, and I’m plowing through Keith Richards’ biography, “Life.”

I like it a lot. Written with journalist James Fox, “Life” offers the memories of an amazing journey flowing out in the course of an intimate conversation with the reader. Not much in the way of reflection, just the facts laid out, from Richards’ point-of-view, clear and direct. The best part is the feeling of being alongside him as he’s remembering, like you were there, as well.

If you haven’t read it (I’m coming to it nearly a year after publication myself), I recommend it, even though I’m still reading. You could check out the enthusiastic review from the NY Times – Review of Life for further encouragement.

I’ve gotten to the mid-Sixties, when the band is taking off, and Richards is dealing with all the trappings of sudden success. He was and is and always will be in it for the music, the sound, and he approaches his playing both as his work and a calling, introducing people to American blues. At this point in the story, he is learning to accommodate the money and fame and hassles. The book is picking up speed as the band does. So, while this isn’t my favorite Stones song (I’m not sure what is, but probably “Start Me Up”), it’s right for this moment:

Later,

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