Tag Archives: Keith Richards

Bobby Keys is the Coolest Stone

Bobby Keys by Dominique Tarle

I finally watched Stones in Exile last night after recently finishing Keith’s Life. The thing that struck me about the documentary was that none of them—especially Mick, but not even Keith—have the slightest clue about what made that album so great. Everybody interviewed for the documentary seemed clueless… Except for Bobby Keys. Yes sir, buddy. The saxophone player was the only guy who didn’t seem like a bumbling old man. Bobby Keys is still cool.

But the best is Keith’s explanation of why Keys got kicked out of the band in 1973:

Bobby went down in a tub of Dom Perignon. Bobby Keys, so the story goes, is the only man who knows how many bottles of it it takes to fill a bath, because that’s what he was floating in. This was just before the second-to-last gig on the ’73 European tour, in Belgium. No sign of Bobby at the band assembly that day, and finally I was asked if I knew where my buddy was — there had been no reply from his hotel room. So I went to his room and said, Bob, we gotta go, we gotta go right now. He’s got a cigar, bathtub full of champagne and this French chick in with him. And he said, fuck off. So be it. Great image and everything like that, but you might regret it, Bob. The accountant informed Bobby afterward that he had earned no money at all on that tour as a result of that bathtub; in fact he owed. And it took me ten goddamn years or more to get him back in the band, because Mick was implacable, and rightly so. And Mick can be merciless in that way. I couldn’t answer for Bobby. All I could do was help him get clean, and I did.

— Keith Richards, Life (pg. 363)

The Rolling Stones: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, eMusic, MOG, wiki

Photo by Dominique Tarle.

Keith Richards Has Stopped Drinking

Brian Jones amd Keith Richards have a drink in the sun at the Jack Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida

This is bad news. British tabloid The Sun is reporting that Keith Richards has been off booze for four months. Surely, his body will not be able to handle the shock. After stubbornly defying mortality for so many years, we’ll unfortunately now have to place Keith at the top of the 2010 death pool.

“He has always quite enjoyed the fact that he seemed to be able to carry on drinking as much as he liked with no real negative impact on his health. But he has watched Ronnie fall well and truly off the wagon last year and he doesn’t like what he sees. Plus he has started to feel for the first time like it might do him some good to give up the booze for a while.

“There’s no guarantees that he’ll stay off it – but he’s doing really well so far.”

Well, good luck, mate.

Previously: Death of a Junky: The Rolling Stones (2001)

Lost Classic: Ron Wood – I’ve Got My Own Album to Do

Ron Wood - I've Got My Own Album to DoRon WoodI’ve Got My Own Album to Do (Warner Bros.)

God damn the early 70s must have been fun. We’ve all seen Almost Famous and the life of a somewhat known (fictional) band looked great, so imagine what it was like to be in the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band! Well, in 1974 Woody had the best of all worlds when he started out as a member of The Faces with Rod Stewart and then jumped over to be a Rolling Stone when guitarist Mick Taylor left. In between he recorded a star studded solo affair that stands up as a case study what you can do when your best friends are rock stars.

Just look at the personnel listing according to Wikipedia:

* Ron Wood: vocals, guitar, percussion

* Keith Richards: guitar, vocals, percussion

* Mick Jagger: vocals, guitar

* Willie Weeks: bass

* Andy Newmark: drums

* Ian McLagan: organ, piano, synthesizer

* Sterling: steel drums

* Ross Henderson: steel drums

* Mick Taylor: bass, guitar, organ, synthesizer

* George Harrison: guitar, backing vocals; unconfirmed

* Jean Roussell: organ, piano

* Pete Sears: bass, celeste

* Micky Waller: drums

* Martin Quittenton: guitar

* Rod Stewart: backing vocals

* Ruby Turner: backing vocals

* Ireen & Doreen Chanter: backing vocals

Continue reading Lost Classic: Ron Wood – I’ve Got My Own Album to Do

Death of a Junky: the Rolling Stones

Sympathy for the DevilDigging through the archives, we recently realized that we had lost track of one of the finest items posted to GLONO. Back in the day, this was the first post that we pulled aside and showcased as a feature, but it somehow got lost in the shuffle of redesigns and content management system switches. We’re happy to bring it back. —Jake

Death of a Junky: The Rolling Stones


Derek Phillips

Drugs are evil. Make no mistake. Queen of Darkness Marilyn Manson takes the stage in front of a huge 12-foot tall neon sign that reads D-R-U-G-S. Drugs turn people crazy, especially the people trying to outlaw them. Drugs are the evil Lord and the Stones worshipped at its altar for 20 years and reaped the benefits before they fell from grace and lost their souls to Billy Blanks.

“Sympathy for the Devil” may be the most evil song in the world. The Stones forced anyone who dared to listen beyond the jungle rhythms to face facts–you shit in your bed, now sleep in it. Everything about that song is great. It is rock and roll. It is everything parents were afraid of. I’ve seen clips of the recording sessions where Keith couldn’t get up off the studio floor to listen to playbacks. They stood on the precipice of depravity and spit over the edge.

The Stones were bar-none the Greatest Rock Band in the World. They proved it time and again and were untouchable throughout the seventies and even into the early eighties. Some Girls was one of the best of their career, and though Tattoo You didn’t reach the highs (and lows), of earlier records, it still had gems.

Then something happened.

Something wrong… Something ugly… Something vile…

They got healthy.

Continue reading Death of a Junky: the Rolling Stones

Keef Dishes on Some of His Faves

Guitar World has a great little interview with Keith Richards discussing his favorite Stones’ songs and how they came about. There’s nothing surprising on the songlist itself, but some of Keith’s commentary on them is really interesting.

Selected gems include:

Satisfaction – When I wrote the song, I didn’t think of that particular riff as the big guitar riff…I actually thought of that guitar line as a horn riff. The way Otis Redding ended up doing it is probably closer to my original conception for the song….And two weeks later I hear it on the radio. I said, “No, that was just a demo!” They said, “No, it’s a hit.” At least Otis got it right. Our version was a demo for Otis.

Mother’s Little Helper – The main riff is a 12-string with a slide on it. It’s played slightly Orientalish. This was even before sitars were used in rock music. It just needed something to make it twang, ’cause otherwise the song was quite vaudeville in a way.

Jumping Jack Flash – “Jumping Jack Flash” comes from this guy, Jack Dyer, who was my gardener—an old English yokel. Mick and I were in my house down in the south of England…On the record, I played a Gibson Hummingbird [acoustic] tuned to either open E or open D with a capo. And then I added another [acoustic] guitar over the top, but tuned to Nashville tuning [tuned like a 12-string guitar without the lower octave strings]. I learned that from somebody in George Jones‘ band, in San Antonio in ’63. We happened to be playing the World Teen Fair together. This guy in a Stetson and cowboy boots showed me how to do it, with the different strings, to get that high ring. I was picking up tips.

Street Fighting Man – On “Street Fighting Man,” there’s one six-string and one five-string acoustic. They’re both in open tunings, but then there’s a lot of capo work. There are lots of layers of guitars on “Street Fighting Man,” so it’s difficult to say what you’re hearing on there. ‘Cause I tried eight different guitars, and which ones were used in the final version I couldn’t say.

Gimmie Shelter – Some guy crashed out at my pad for a couple of days, then suddenly split in a hurry and left that guitar behind, like, “take care of this for me.” I certainly did. At the very last note of the take, the whole neck fell off. You can hear it on the original track. That guitar had just that one little quality for that specific thing. In a way, it was quite poetic that it died at the end of the track.

Can’t You Hear Me Knocking – We thought we’d finished. We were just rambling and they kept the tape rolling. It was only when we heard the playback we realized: “Oh they kept it going. Okay, fade it out there… no wait, a little bit more, a bit more…” Basically, we realized we had two bits of music: there’s the song and there’s the jam.

Start Me Up – …on a break I just played that guitar riff, not even really thinking much about it; we did a take rocking away and then went back to work and did another 15 reggae takes. Five years later, Mick discovered that one rock take in the middle of the tape and realized how good it was. The fact that I missed “Start Me Up” for five years is one of my disappointments. It just went straight over my head. But you can’t catch everything.

Lots more in the full article.

The Rolling Stones: 1969 World Tour Photos

The Rolling Stones’ 1969 World Tour kicked off days after the death of Brian Jones and ended with the death of Meredith Hunter at Altamont, captured in the film Gimme Shelter. Who would have guessed that this tour would mark the death of the 60s?

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, 1969

Here, Mick and Keef take a break for some time in the sun. The image forms part a new exhibition dedicated to the tour photography of Ethan Russell, ‘Let It Bleed: The Rolling Stones’ 1969 US Tour’ and will be on display at London’s Proud Galleries, May 23 – July 20.

Via The NME.

Greg Allman Sidelined

The Allman Brothers Band are being forced to cancel a number of upcoming shows due to Greg Allman’s need to treat hepatitis c. Shows in Florida and their annual run of shows at Manhattan’s Beacon Theater have all been shelved, according to drummer Butch Trucks.

Greg should get in touch with Keith Richards, who told a GQ writer in the April 2008 edition that he cured himself of hep c “just by being myself.”

Another gem from the interview:

At Mick’s gayest, how gay was he?

It was camp.


Yeah. It was all… I really have no idea if anyone ever shoved it up the shitter.

Not even Bowie?

No. I mean, dickering and dangling… I’m not there watching it every day. You know what I mean, mate? But there was, at the time, a load of excruciatingly painful campness that went on.

God bless ya, Keef!

Keith Richards Snorted His Dad’s Ashes

Associated Press picked up an NME interview with Keith Richards:

“The strangest thing I’ve tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father. He was cremated and I couldn’t resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn’t have cared. It went down pretty well, and I’m still alive.”

Richards’ father, Bert, died in 2002, at 84. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Update: Just kidding.

Keith Richards: The Face That Launched a Thousand Fuckups… And More Recoveries

KeithKeith Richards: The Biography

By Victor Bockris, Da Capo Press

“To the Japanese, Richards was the face and soul of rock and roll,” writes Victor Bockris in Keith Richards: The Biography (note the definite article; this isn’t just any old biography; this is, so it seems, it, other books on the subject notwithstanding), which has been updated to 2003. For many of us even here in the West, that’s the case as well. That visage with wrinkles that could rip through titanium and dark-rimmed eyes that the chemists at Revlon could never duplicate is certainly an image of rock and roll that has endured longer than anyone would have expected possible, jokes about embalming put aside. Bockris presents Richards with all of his flaws—although given the fact that he makes it very clear in the material that he’s appended to this new volume that Richards is first and foremost the first and foremost among the Stones, I can only wonder whether there are things that are even more outlandish in the life and times of Richards that the bowing author decided to be discrete with.

Continue reading Keith Richards: The Face That Launched a Thousand Fuckups… And More Recoveries