Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy 64th Birthday To Keith Richards

Tuesday December 18th is the 64th birthday of my favorite Rolling Stone, Keith Richards. As guitarist, vocalist, and chief songwriter (along with Mick Jagger) of the Rolling Stones, Keith has had a hand in some of the greatest rock and roll records ever made. He is also the creator of some of the most famous guitar riffs ever put down. It's hard to imagine songs like "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", "Brown Sugar", and "Start Me Up" without those opening riffs.

One thing that I like about Keith is that he knows and respects rock and roll history. A long-time disciple of Chuck Berry, it was Keith who put together the band of top-flight musicians to back Chuck for his 60th birthday concert back in 1986. The concert was filmed and included in the documentary "Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll". Although you can sense that there is genuine love and respect between Chuck and Keith, one of the best moments of the documentary is a heated exchange between the two men. I've said it before and I will say it again, don't ever fuck with Chuck Berry's amp!

When referring to certain musicians who have weathered the storms of their vices, you often hear the term "rock and roll survivor". When you take into account Keith Richards' decadent lifestyle (years of drug use, including addiction to heroin during the 1970s), his picture should be next to the term in the rock and roll dictionary. The fact that he is still among the living should serve as the basis for a documentary on the Discovery Health Channel.

Feel free to check out Barbara's post on Keith as well.

Below is Keith's video for the song "Take It So Hard". It was the first single from Keith's debut solo album, the 1988 release "Talk Is Cheap". The keyboardist in this clip is Ivan Neville. He is the son of singer Aaron Neville.


The Mistress of the Dark said...

Happy B-day Keith! Poor guy, looks older than my gram, and she's going to be 101!!

pjazzypar said...

64! He looked 64 in the clip you provided. Ole boy must of done some hard, fast living LOL!

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

EXCELLENT post on Keith! I linked here today :)

X. Dell said...

About fifteen years ago, one of my students showed me a picture (in the pre-photoshop days) of herself on a date with Richards. I could swear she looks as though she's propping him up.

I'm surprised that he's lived this long. Perhaps the term 'survivor' is overapplied, but it really does apply to him. If the drugs, the lifestyle, and the fall from the tree didn't kill him, it's hard to imagine what will.

But in the end, it's about music. Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll is one of my favorite rock documentaries because it showed so much of the process of what actually goes on between musicians.

If we're lucky, do you think we could get a sequel out of those two?

Holly Smith said...

I really thought he was older than that! My parents are big Rolling Stones fans...they even went to a concert about ten? years ago in Houston. I like a lot of their songs as well.


Malcolm: said...

Mistress of the D: By the way, congrats to your gram for living such a long life... and for looking better than Keith.

Pjazzy: Somebody should have told Keith back in 1988 that when you look 64 in your mid 40s, it's time to do some serious thinking about giving up the drugs and booze.

Barbara: Thanks for the props and the link love. Since you have a tribute to Keith, I'll return the favor.

X. Dell: Although I know we all have to die (at least I think we do), I will really be surprised if I live to see Keith "buy the farm".

I plan on watching "Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll" again while I am on vacation. That would be great if Chuck and Keith did another onscreen collaboration. Although it'll never happen, those two would be naturals for their own reality show.

Holly: I am detecting two trends in the comments on this post.

1. People are surprised that Keith is only 64.

2. They are surprised that he is still alive.


Tell your parents that I am jealous. I wish I had made an effort to see The Stones during the late 80s or 90s. As far as my favorite bands, I would put them in my top 10.

Janet said...

He was always my favorite too. More talent in his little finger than Jagger's whole body!

Malcolm: said...

Janet: That's quite a statement about Keith having more talent in his little finger than Mick has in his entire body... esp. when you consider those big-assed lips of Mick.

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