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Life (2010)

by Keith Richards

Other authors: James Fox

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,7711323,948 (3.84)185
Autobiography of the guitarist, songwriter, singer, and founding member of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards. With the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards lived the original rock and roll life. He tells his story of life in the crossfire hurricane; his listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records, learning guitar and forming a band with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, the Rolling Stones' first fame and the notorious drug busts that led to his enduring image as outlaw folk hero, creating immortal riffs like the ones in "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Honky Tonk Women." He discusses falling in love with Anita Pallenberg and the death of Brian Jones, his tax exile in France, wildfire tours of the U.S., isolation and addiction, as well as falling in love with Patti Hansen, and his bitter estrangement from Jagger and subsequent reconciliation. He talks about his marriage, family, solo albums and Xpensive Winos; the road that goes on forever.… (more)
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» See also 185 mentions

English (125)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Italian (2)  All languages (132)
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
I LOVED this book! Richards tells his story in such a conversational style, it makes you feel you are sitting across the table enjoying a few drinks with him. He is an artist who greatly honed his craft, and was fortunate to have known some great musical influencers in his life. He was very serious about improving musically and educated himself throughout his life. Richards is a great lover of literature, and has a huge library in his home. He goes into great detail about his musical roots and his journey with the band. He tells it like it was about his drug use, no mea culpas or excuses here. I find myself listening to all the music he describes in a much more nuanced way, really understanding how he wanted it to be heard. His stories about various blues musicians were great and I even found a playlist on Spotify that lists every song he mentions in the book. Great playlist! If you love music, particularly the blues, the book is a treasure trove of information and anecdotes. When you finish the book, you will feel like you have just finished a great conversation with an old friend. ( )
  lonetree1972 | Jun 1, 2021 |
This is an excellent biography to help students connect with their parents or adults in their life. It is also inspirational for those young people who are seeking a possible career in the arts. Some of the content is more adult concerning sex and drugs, so the book should be aimed at the Young Adult age greater with an age range of 17 and over.

Music Classroom Guitar Lesson Learning to Emulate the Unique Keith Richards Guitar Style
https://youtu.be/hEc6czc95EQ ( )
  KylerJones | Apr 25, 2021 |
Can't think of an auto-biography that I've enjoyed more. As the cliche goes "You really couldn't make it up". The writing is wonderfully honest, sometimes funny and really gets you to the heart of the man. 'Keef' clearly lives for music, doesn't suffer fools gladly, has a beast of a temper but is a true and steadfast friend-and what I really admired-has a great respect for women. Personally I couldn't fail to warm to him despite the horrifying descriptions of his drug fueled excesses and bringing up his son in this atmosphere. Not surprised either that Mick Jagger wasn't too impressed with the book! As Keith ages the pace slows and towards the end we get a more reflective mood. Keith shares his reading tastes and his recipe for the perfect sausage and mash (must try it) but always, always his love of music. A true original and a national treasure. ( )
  Patsmith139 | Mar 15, 2021 |
I'm not a huge fan of biographies (because they tend to drag on about boring and useless information rather than focusing on interesting plotpoints), and even less so of autobiographies (because the author rarely has little writing talent), but I found this one quite a good read. Richards has an undeniablt British talent for putting words together, even though he's not working in his usual song-lyric medium (where it's pretty damn obvious that he has quite a bit of talent). Maybe it goes along with the scruffy Jewish hair and the English schooling system, but he had a few phrases where I had to remind myself that he is not in fact Neil Gaiman (haha).

Ironically, I'm actually not that big of a Rolling Stones fan either, and my appreciation for them has usually started and ended with their "rock star style" rather than with their music. I think I shall have to go out and get some of their music, because I found the lyrics that Richards included at poignant moments to be quite intriging. If I was back home I could at least listen to the one 'Stones vinyl I picked up at a vintage store on a whim, or Mick Jagger's debut solo album (that I borrowed from my mother and never returned because I quite liked it).

It's par for the course to expect the drugs fiasco to be a big part of their lives, and obviously drugs played a major part in some of the crucial points in this book, but I found Richard's recollections to be more honest than I had expected. It may have been a roller coaster ride at the time, but with the distance of time these episodes blend together in the same way that the distasters of childhood birthday parties do; the good details are remembered fondly but the bitter tears are also remembered as a means to not go back. Though it all I find it quite amazing that through it all Richards kept writing and playing music, and how involved he was in such a variety of musical projects. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
Heard recently (12/2020) that Richards has quit smoking; anything's possible. This is a terrific book; how he lived to write it is anyone's guess. Fascinating on his favorite subject: music. Great stuff on influence, songwriting and guitar magic. Pulls no punches on his bandmates, others and especially himself. Vivid, entertaining and educational. ( )
  beaujoe | Dec 4, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
Troligtvis är det mesta sant då det gäller denna 68-årige gitarrhjälte. En sann bad boy med ibland överdriven smak för livets goda – och dåliga. Man behöver inte bläddra allt för många sidor innan den ena anekdoten radas upp efter den andra. [...] Den engelska originalversionen av boken ger en mer rättvis känsla av Keith Richards berättande. Svenska översättningen räcker inte riktigt till och den torra brittiska humorn blir inte lika framträdande.
added by andersocheva | editNostalgia Special (#3 2011), Jonas Andersén (Sep 2, 2019)
 
If you can remember the Sixties, blah blah blah. Boy can Keith Richards remember the Sixties, which is great. The real miracle is that he can remember the Seventies, considering that Keith’s poison was heroin, which would surely make performing in a high-energy band quite difficult, let alone raising two children, with a heroin-addicted Anita Pallenberg. So the very existence of this book is a marker against the ravages of time. It suggests that Richards’s memory is fresh in a way that his face isn’t. His memory has had a little help: there are letters he sent to relatives, and even a diary, as well as testaments from friends and garnering from other people’s memoirs. Goodness, there’s enough material to start an archive in somewhere like Texas, or for Andrew Motion to contemplate an official biography. For now, though, we have a lot of kind, perhaps even indulgent, transcription from James Fox.
added by lkernagh | editThe Telegraph, Tom Payne (Nov 5, 2010)
 
The survivor's story is one of the predominant narratives of our time. It usually traces a familiar arc from excess through despair to redemption, and, as such, allows us to enjoy the vicarious thrill of voyeurism within the framework of a cautionary or salutary tale. Life by Keith Richards, the most famous survivor of them all, breaks with this tradition insofar as it contains excess aplenty but hardly any despair and very little redemption. Keith did it all, had a hell of a good time, and survived to brag about it.
added by lkernagh | editThe Guardian, Sean O'Hagan (Oct 31, 2010)
 
Mick Jagger has always looked -- will always look -- like Mick Jagger. But try to connect the glum schoolboy-guitarist of early '60s black-and-white pics with the Keith Richards of today. A heap of living and occasional bouts of near-dying have gone into that flayed, weathered, kohl-eyed visage, whose topography suggests a moonscape irrigated with Jack Daniel's. After half a century on the road, Richards has the face he deserves -- but not, it appears, the brain. Against all pharmaceutical odds, he has held on to a substantial portion of his own history and has turned it into the most scabrously honest and essential rock memoir in a long time....And yet here he is, defiantly alive, and defiant in every other respect, too, his language just as politically incorrect, his judgments every bit as summary.
 
“Life” is way more than a revealing showbiz memoir. It is also a high-def, high-velocity portrait of the era when rock ’n’ roll came of age, a raw report from deep inside the counterculture maelstrom of how that music swept like a tsunami over Britain and the United States. It’s an eye-opening all-nighter in the studio with a master craftsman disclosing the alchemical secrets of his art. And it’s the intimate and moving story of one man’s long strange trip over the decades, told in dead-on, visceral prose without any of the pretense, caution or self-consciousness that usually attend great artists sitting for their self-portraits.
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richards, Keithprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fox, Jamessecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Depp, JohnnyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hurley, JoeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindert, Jolanda teTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nilsson, BennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olsson, LinnéaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Patricia
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Why did we stop at the 4-Dice Restaurant in Fordyce, Arkansas, for lunch on Independence Day weekend?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Autobiography of the guitarist, songwriter, singer, and founding member of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards. With the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards lived the original rock and roll life. He tells his story of life in the crossfire hurricane; his listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records, learning guitar and forming a band with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, the Rolling Stones' first fame and the notorious drug busts that led to his enduring image as outlaw folk hero, creating immortal riffs like the ones in "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Honky Tonk Women." He discusses falling in love with Anita Pallenberg and the death of Brian Jones, his tax exile in France, wildfire tours of the U.S., isolation and addiction, as well as falling in love with Patti Hansen, and his bitter estrangement from Jagger and subsequent reconciliation. He talks about his marriage, family, solo albums and Xpensive Winos; the road that goes on forever.

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Co-written with journalist James Fox.
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Hachette Book Group

3 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 031603438X, 0316120367, 1600242405

 

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