LIFE by Keith Richards (and James Fox)

Keith-Richards-book-cover-Life   OK, do I really want to read the life and thoughts of some drugged out Stones dude?  I mean, who cares, right?  Well, a lot of Rolling Stones fans care, and if you are interested in the times of the ultimate star bands of the 70’s and 80′,  take a stroll through this memoir by arguably the driving force behind the band.   Or not.  What do I know?  I was never much of a Stones fan, having always been more of a classical music chick, myself.   But we have to broaden our horizons,  and reading a wide variety of books on a wide ranging list of subjects is one way to do just that.

It is clear that Richards was (and is) clever, talented, arrogant, wild and determined.  His co-writer (or ghost writer, more likely) James Fox, does a wonderful job in capturing the voice and intent of Richards in this long autobiography.   The book jumps from tales of drug busts by the police, to vignettes of  his childhood.  Surprisingly, at least to me, it is an interesting read, and I learned some interesting factoids about him.  Like, he was a choirboy and sang for the Queen.  Dang.   He doesn’t pull any punches, and some of it is just plain ‘gotcha’ crap paybacks, but in the cutthroat world of rock and roll bands, I guess that is to be expected.

He has had a big life,  and whether one life is more interesting than any other life rests in the eye of the reader, and whether one should write one’s autobiography, or memoirs, or better leave it to a more neutral biographer is a matter of taste, choice and ambition, I guess.   But for a guy more known for his music and his drug use,  this isn’t a bad effort.   Not bad at all.


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