Richards wrote this along with British author James Fox. I am a huge Rolling Stones fan and didn’t really know what to expect from this novel when I got it. Here are some of the questions I had in my mind before I even
What was it really going to cover?
Were there going to be important things in there that the average fan didn’t know?
Was Richards going to reveal the motivation and genesis of many of the Stones’ big hits?
The early years, was he going to just gloss over them or go into detail of how this band that has stood together for almost 50 years got its act together and went big-time?
How did they come up with their signature sound?
What is his relationship with Jagger like after all these years?
I have plenty more questions trust me, but fortunately he answered almost all of them in the pages of the novel. How much is real and how much is made up and seen through a drug addled haze? I am not sure, but it made
for some pretty interesting reading and it kept me interested throughout the
novel. The life and times of the Rolling Stones as told by Keith Richards is a
fun engaging read. You need not be a fan of the Stones or a fan of music at
all, this is the history of a man that has risen to the pinnacle of his profession
and it is worth finding out what his motivations were, and how he got there. Is
this the map for success for everyone? I hope not, but his drive and
determination are evident and he was not to be denied. Here are a few clips
from the novel: “We didn’t have any other interests in the world except how to
keep the electricity going and how to nick a few things from the supermarket
for food. Women were really third on that list. Electricity, food and then,
hey, you got lucky.” “ When you get a
riff like “Flash” you get a great feeling of elation, a wicked glee.”
This is one of my favorite quotes, I have to admire the man’s honesty, laying it all out there for us, giving us a glimpse into the mind of an icon, a legend , someone that created some amazing music: “I can
hear the whole band take off behind me every time I play “Flash”- there’s this
extra sort of turbo overdrive. You jump off the riff and it plays you,
Levitation is probably the closest analogy to what I feel-whether it’s “Jumpin
‘ Jack” or “Satisfaction” or “All Down the Line”- when I realize I’ve hit the
right tempo and the band’s behind me. It’s like taking off in a Learjet. People
say,”Why don’t you give it up?’ I can’t retire until I croak. I don’t think
they quite understand what I get out of this. I’m not doing it just for the
money or for you. I’m doing it for me.”
I would say this was truly a ride in rare air. I was given an opportunity to crawl into the mind and life of someone whose music I really have enjoyed for the vast majority of my life. Keith Richards is an incredible
guitar player, a pioneer and a legend; his life story is definitely worth the
read. I can now say, in regards to many of the questions I have had about him
and the band over the years , I now have some “Satisfaction”.
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