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Keith Richards

Keith Richards26 posts
5 Aug, 2015

Esquire interview


In an interview with Esquire, Richards talks about touring:

It’s probably the only 
drug left to us, the one that draws us back as much as anything—although there is something about playing with this bunch of guys. Is it habit? Is it just the length of time we’ve been doing it? But when we start rehearsing, I always find this incredible enthusiasm among them all—especially this tour. It’s been a great feeling from show one…I can handle the show. In the ’60s, it was 20 minutes, in and out. Now it’s two hours. I don’t come off as exhausted 
as I used to ten years ago, 
because I’ve learned more about how to pace a show. I don’t think about the physical aspects—I just expect it all to work. I’m blessed physically 
with stamina.

On The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper:

Beatles sounded great when they were the Beatles. But there’s not a lot of roots in that music. I think they got carried away. Why not? If you’re the Beatles in the ’60s, you just get carried away—you forget what it is you wanted to do. You’re starting to do Sgt. Pepper. Some people think it’s a genius album, but I think it’s a mishmash of rubbish, kind of like Satanic Majesties—”Oh, if you can make a load of shit, so can we.

On his life:


Yeah, it’s been worth the price. To become a musician, that was the dream—just to get into a band. You didn’t care if you were stuck in the back strumming away. You know, I would have gladly done that. I wouldn’t have minded being a sideman, but things turned out another way. Maybe it was the haircut or something.

1 Apr, 2015

North American tour

Announces Tour

The band announces a 15 city tour in North America. The tour commences on May 24 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. Richards:

We love being out on the road and it is great to come back to North America. I can’t wait to get back on the stage.

2 Dec, 2014

‘I have lost the largest pal in the world’

Richards reacts to the death of longtime friend Keys.

I have lost the largest pal in the world and I can’t express the sense of sadness I feel, although Bobby would tell me to cheer up. My condolences to all that knew him and his love of music.

12 Nov, 2012

One More Shot

Single Release

The band releasesOne More Shot, from the album, GRRR!. Richards:

It was probably the quickest Rolling Stones recording session I can remember, ever. We cut two tracks in three days. It was incredibly professional. I had One More Shot ready, Mick had Doom and Gloom ready to go, so, boom, let’s cut ’em.

11 Oct, 2012

Doom and Gloom

Single Release

The band releases their song, Doom and Gloom, from the album, GRRR!. Richards:

I don’t think the Stones have ever cut a track so fast. It was like three takes and – boom! We were like looking at each other and going, ‘Got anything else?’ It was amazingly quick. The Stones are amazing that way, their chemistry and their energy when they get together. The hard bit with the Stones is getting them together.

24 May, 2011

Bangers and mash recipe

Richards publishes his recipe for sausages and mashed potatoes:

First off, find a butcher who makes the sausages fresh.

Fry up a mixture of onions and bacon and seasoning.

Get the spuds on the boil with a dash of vinegar, some chopped onions and salt (seasoning to taste). Chuck in some peas with the spuds. (Throw in some chopped carrots too, if you like). Now we’re talking.

Now you have the choice of grilling or broiling your bangers or frying. Throw them on a low heat with the simmering bacon and onions (or in a cold pan, as the TV lady said, and add the onion and bacon in a bit) and let the f-ckers rock gently, turning every few minutes.

Mash yer spuds and whatever.

Bangers are now fat free (as possible).

Gravy if desired.

HP sauce.

26 Sep, 1994

You Got Me Rocking

Single Release

The band releasesYou Got Me Rocking, from the album, Voodoo Lounge. Richards:

I wrote it on piano. It’s sort of like a Little Richard thing. And then when I took it to guitar I really got interested in it. Because before that I was really doing a parody of something like rock and roll piano music. But then it sort of went Celtic on me. Some of these strange drone notes. And it sort of took on another life. And then Charlie got into it with this little go-go beat – this great tom tom bit – and I’m a sucker for that, man. You give me that, especially with Charlie Watts playing it. It was a heavy-duty jungle thing.

17 Aug, 1989

Mixed Emotions

Single Release

The band releases their song, Mixed Emotions, from the album, Steel Wheels. Richards:

I think we cut that in Montserrat, an island that no longer exists. That smoldering heap of volcanic eruptions. And we were the last guys to cut there. That was the last record anybody cut there. It’s what happens when you work with The Stones. They got a hurricane and then it erupted. It was a pretty island once. With Mixed Emotions I think I had the music and I went to Mick and said, bring your bit to it. Because it’s a two-way street a lot of the time. I mean there was a time when Mick and I used to write face-to-face all the time. But we were on the road then. Now we can bring ideas to each other and sometimes it’s strange – we hadn’t seen each other for maybe 5 or 6 months and we get together and funny enough, we’d each have written a piece of music that actually fits together even though we haven’t been in communication with each other.

28 Feb, 1986

Harlem Shuffle

Single Release

The band releases their song, Harlem Shuffle, from the album, Dirty Work. Richards:

I’ve been trying to get Harlem Shuffle on an album, without actually telling Mick, for 5 or 6 years. I thought that was a natural number for him to sing – it was made for him. I’ve been giving him cassettes with Harlem Shuffle stuffed in the middle somewhere for a long time, but I never got any real response. One night we were in the studio and Woody and I started plunking away at it. We were amazed at how simple the song was – about 2 chords. The band was just warming up on it, jamming, when Mick walked in and started singing. We realized, YEAH. And we did it in 2 takes. So it paid off eventually, though it cost me a fortune in cassettes.

14 Aug, 1981

Start Me Up

Single Release

The band releasesStart Me Up, from, Tattoo You. Richards:

The story here is the miracle that we ever found that track. I was convinced – and I think Mick was – that it was definitely a Reggae song. And we did it in 38 takes – ‘Start me up. Yeah, man, cool. You know, you know, Jah Rastafari.’ And it didn’t make it. And somewhere in the middle of a break, just to break the tension, Charlie and I hit the rock and roll version. And right after that we went straight back to Reggae. And we forgot totally about this one little burst in the middle, until about five years later when somebody sifted all the way through these Reggae takes. After doing about 70 takes of Start Me Up he found that one in the middle. It was just buried in there. Suddenly I had it. Nobody remembered cutting it. But we leapt on it again. We did a few overdubs on it, and it was like a gift, you know? One of the great luxuries of The Stones is we have an enormous, great big can of stuff. I mean what anybody hears is just the tip of an iceberg, you know. And down there is vaults of stuff. But you have to have the patience and the time to actually sift through it

26 Apr, 1976

Fool To Cry

Single Release

The band releases their song, Fool To Cry, from the album, Black And Blue. Richards:

I was just glad somebody in the band could sing that falsetto. I got a pretty good falsetto myself. But when you got a singer and he can hit those notes, baby go for it. And Mick was always fascinated with the falsetto Soul singers like Aaron Neville. That’s crafty stuff, you know what I mean? But he’d been listening to so many people. It’s kinda like what goes in, will come out. You’ll just hear a phrase or a piece of music. And one way or another it’s part of your experience. And a lot of the time it comes out what you do without even realizing it. I don’t really like to think about these things too much. It’s more to do with feeling than intellectualizing about it.

15 Jul, 1972


Single Release

The band releases, Happy, from the album, Exile On Main St. Richards:

That’s a strange song, because if you play it you actually become happy, even in the worst of circumstances. It has a little magical bounce about it. I wrote it one afternoon when we were cutting Exile on Main St. in France and the studio was in my basement. And Bobby Keys was with me and they got this lick going. So we went down and I recorded it with just guitar and Bobby Keys on baritone saxophone. While we were doing that, Jimmy Miller, who was our producer at the time, came in. And he was a very good drummer as well. So we said, well let’s put down a dub, we’ll just sort of sketch it out and play it later. But it’s another one of those things that ended up being on the record. It was just one of those moments that you get that are very happy. And I can play it now and it gives you a lift. I don’t know why except for maybe the word.

12 May, 1972

Sweet Virginia

Single Release

The band releases their song, Sweet Virginia, from the album, Exile On Main St. Richards:

Some songs – Sweet Virginia – were held over from Sticky Fingers. It was the same line-up and I’ve always felt those two albums kind of fold into each other… there was not much time between them and I think it was all flying out of the same kind of energy.

12 Jun, 1971

Wild Horses

Single Release

The band releasesWild Horses, from the album, Sticky Fingers. Richards:

Wild Horses almost wrote itself. It was really a lot to do with, once again, f-cking around with the tunings. I found these chords, especially doing it on a twelve-string to start with, which gave the song this character and sound. There’s a certain forlornness that can come out of a twelve-string. I started off, I think, on a regular six-string open E, and it sounded very nice, but sometimes you just get these ideas. What if I open tuned a twelve-string? All it meant was translate what Mississippi Fred McDowell was doing – twelve-string slide – into five-string mode, which meant a ten-string guitar.

5 Dec, 1969

Love In Vain

Single Release

The band releasesLove In Vain, from the album, Let It Bleed. The song is a remake of Johnson’s blues classic. Richards:

For a time we thought the songs that were on that first album were the only recordings Robert Johnson had made, and then suddenly around ’67 or ’68 up comes this second bootleg collection that included Love in Vain. Love in Vain was such a beautiful song. Mick and I both loved it, and at the time I was working and playing around with Gram Parsons, and I started searching around for a different way to present it, because if we were going to record it there was no point in trying to copy the Robert Johnson style or ways and styles. We took it a little bit more country, a little bit more formalized, and Mick felt comfortable with that.

11 Jul, 1969

Honky Tonk Women

Single Release

The band releases their song, Honky Tonk Women, from, Let It Bleed. Richards:

Honky Tonk Women started in Brazil. Mick and I, Marianne Faithfull and Anita Pallenberg who was pregnant with my son at the time. Which didn’t stop us going off to the Mato Grasso and living on this ranch. It’s all cowboys. It’s all horses and spurs. And Mick and I were sitting on the porch of this ranch house and I started to play, basically fooling around with an old Hank Williams idea. ‘Cause we really thought we were like real cowboys. Honky tonk women. And we were sitting in the middle of nowhere with all these horses, in a place where if you flush the john all these black frogs would fly out. It was great. The chicks loved it. Anyway, it started out a real country honk put on, a hokey thing. And then couple of months later we were writing songs and recording. And somehow by some metamorphosis it suddenly went into this little swampy, black thing, a Blues thing. Really, I can’t give you a credible reason of how it turned around from that to that. Except there’s not really a lot of difference between white Country music and black Country music. It’s just a matter of nuance and style. I think it has to do with the fact that we were playing a lot around with open tunings at the time. So we were trying songs out just to see if they could be played in open tuning. And that one just sunk in.

25 May, 1968

Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Single Release

The band releases their song, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, from the album, Through The Past Darkly (Biggest Hits Volume I). Richards:

The lyrics came from a gray dawn at Redlands. Mick and I had been up all night, it was raining outside, and there was the sound of these boots near the window, belonging to my gardener, Jack Dyer. It woke Mick up. He said, ‘What’s that?’ I said, ‘Oh, that’s Jack. That’s jumping Jack.’ I started to work around the phrase on the guitar, which was in open tuning, singing the phrase ‘Jumping Jack.’ Mick said, ‘Flash,’ and suddenly we had this phrase with a great rhythm and ring to it.

10 May, 1967

Court appearance


article-2193466-14A60F5D000005DC-876_634x574Jagger and Richards appear before magistrates in Chichester, West Sussex, charged with drug offences.  Jagger, 24, is accused of illegally possessing four tablets containing amphetamine sulphate and methylamphetamine hydrochloride. Richards, also 24, is charged with allowing his house to be used for the purpose of smoking cannabis.  Both  plead not guilty and are released on bail to appear for trial at West Sussex Quarter Sessions on 22 June.

7 May, 1966

Paint It Black

Single Release

The band releasesPaint It Black, from, Aftermath. Richards:

We were in Fiji for about 3 days. They make sitars and all sorts of Indian stuff. Sitars are made out of watermelons or pumpkins or something smashed so they go hard. They’re very brittle and you have to be careful how you handle them. We had the sitars, we thought we’d try them out in the studio. To get the right sound on Paint It Black we found the sitar fitted perfectly. We tried a guitar but you can’t bend it enough.

26 Sep, 1964

Time Is On My Side

Single Release

The band releasesTime Is On My Side, from the album, 12 x 5. Richards:

In America we were basically known for heavy, slowish kind of ballads. Time Is On My Side, Tell Me, Heart of Stone, that was what we were known for. Strangely enough that was our thing. Every single was a slow song. Who would believe it? You’d think they’d be clamoring for out-and-out rock and roll, but no, it was the Soul ballads that happened for us in America.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Keith Richards, created by Newslines' contributors. Help us grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more