Many fans of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards wonder how he's managed to survive the last half-century of raucous rock and roll behavior and drug use. This suspicion is only intensified after reading Life, his 2011 autobiography.
Richards has always been just who he is, leaving the facades for others and choosing instead to just be himself. His open honestly is evident in Life, when he discusses not only the tunes made famous by his legendary band but the men behind them. Keith writes about his past addictions at length, and the isolation both his drug use and the band's fame brought. The book even includes many pictures from Keith's personal collection. These are available as a PDF download with the audiobook version on Life.
Richards talks about the early days of the Rolling Stones, when the band did a lot more listening than playing. He, along with vocalist Mick Jagger and fellow guitarist Brian Jones, would sit for hours dissecting and digesting records by Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. From there, they developed their own sound, and formed a band to play the music the y loved.
Jagger and Richards soon found they worked well together as a songwriting team, and the Rolling Stones were born. He offers a look at their rise to fame and all of the events of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s that contributed to their legendary status.
Richards wrote Life with help from journalist James Fox. Fox is best known for his book about an infamous 1941 murder in Kenya called White Mischief. His other works include Five Sisters: The Langhornes of Virginia. He has also worked as a reporter for London's Sunday Times.
The Life audiobook is narrated by Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley.
"I leaned my phone on the back of the chopsaw while doing carpentry, played the book in my car hoping for bad traffic, shared with family. The Keith book kept me company - out of body experience drifting through the history of rock and roll, the albums and the women, drug busts, life and death, glory and hardships. I recommend this for all adult ages.
Nick Danger (5 out of 5 stars)
As lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the riffs, the lyrics, and the songs that roused the world. A true and towering original, he has always walked his own path, spoken his mind, and done things his own way.
Now at last Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades—and what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere. Dropping his guitar's sixth string to create a new sound that allowed him to create immortal riffs like those in "Honky Tonk Woman" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash."
Ever-increasing fame, isolation, and addiction making life an ever-faster frenzy. Through it all, Richards remained devoted to the music of the band, until even that was challenged by Mick Jagger's attempt at a solo career, leading to a decade of conflicts and ultimately the biggest reunion tour in history.
In a voice that is uniquely and unmistakably him, part growl, part laugh, Keith Richards brings us the truest rock-and-roll life of our times, unfettered, fearless, and true.
Richards' rich voice introduces the audiobook edition of Life and leads us into Johnny Depp's performance, while fellow artist Joe Hurley bridges the long road traveled before Richards closes with the final chapter of this incredible twenty-three-hour production.
Download and start listening now!
About the Authors
Keith Richards was born in London in 1943. A guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and cofounder of the Rolling Stones, he has also released solo albums with his band, The X-Pensive Winos. He was voted the tenth greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone and was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Patti Hansen.
James Fox was born in Washington, DC, in 1945. A lifelong friend of Keith Richards and a former journalist for the Sunday Times in London, his books include the international bestseller White Mischief. He lives in London with his wife and sons.
About Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is an actor and film producer who first rose to fame on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street. He has since appeared in several well-known films including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Chocolat, Donnie Brasco, and the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. A frequent collaborator of director Tim Burton, Depp has also played a lead role in Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, and a screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Depp has been nominated for several Academy Awards, and won Best Actor awards from both the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes.