Keith Richards on Keith Richards – Interviews and Encounters, book review

Keith Richards on Keith Richards – Interviews and Encounters
Keith Richards on Keith Richards – Interviews and Encounters

Over the past 50 years there has been as many books published on Keith Richards than The Rolling Stones have released studio albums.  So as part of the 50 years celebration, why publish yet another book on Rolling Stoned stalwart and Glimmer Twin, Keith Richards; and more precisely, why should anyone be interested in this book?

Similar to Keith Richards’ critically acclaimed autobiography Life which won the Norman Mailer Book Prize in 2011, Keith Richards on Keith Richards – Interviews and Encounters offers a very candid look into one of the most interesting and enduring characters of rock music’s legends.  But for anyone who has read Keith’s autobiography, this collection of interviews spread across the fifty years of The Rolling Stones will still hold enough interest and appeal; and for those who have only read second-rate biographies of the band or Keith Richards, there is plenty of reason to read this fascinating book.

Superbly edited by journalist and writer Sean Egan, Keith Richards on Keith Richards is a collection of 18 different interviews from between 1964 to 2011 including articles from GQ, Melody Maker, and Rolling Stone magazine, as well as interviews that have never previously appeared in print.  The collection charts Keith Richards’s journey from gauche, young pretender and swaggering epitome of the zeitgeist to beloved elder statesman of rock; and while I have always turned away from the domineering, money-minded, controlling and somewhat embarrassing dress sense of Mick Jagger, like many others I see the heart of The Rolling Stones and their love affair with the blues is embodied by Keith Richards

Keith Richards is a rock and roll renegade who, in his youth, played vicious outlaw music, the soul survivor or the cat with nine lives who fought in the rock and roll wars and survived.

Among the topics covered in this book, Keith openly discusses the highs and lows of both personal life and the history of the Rolling Stones including the death of the Stones’ founder member and friend Brian Jones, the Altamont incident where a fan was stabbed to death by hells angels who accused him of pulling a gun on Mick Jagger, the rift between him and Mick Jagger, and of course his battle with drink and drugs.

As for the music, the interviews really reflect in detail his love for the original blues legends and his love of that style of music. He talks about recording Exile on Main Street in a rented house in the south of France, recording other albums, and his life as a songwriter with Mick Jagger.

Keith Richards on Keith Richards offers a historic look at one of the most interesting and iconic guitarists in rock history, through his own words and in doing so, is a fascinating read for anyone well versed in the Rolling Stones or wants an insight into one of rock music and life’s great survivors.

Keith Richards on Keith Richards – Interviews and Encounters is part of the Musicians In Their Own Words series that includes John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Led Zeppelin & Tom Waits.

Keith Richards on Keith Richards – Interviews and Encounters is published in paperback by Chicago Review Press.

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