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Life by Keith Richards

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Life by Keith Richards with James Fox
Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2010.

In Life, in his own direct and inimitable style, Keith Richards describes his childhood growing up as an only child in a council estate, listening to Django Reinhardt with his mother and discovering Elvis via Radio Luxembourg. His grandfather introduced him to the guitar and his friendship with Mick Jagger began when he spotted Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records under Jagger’s arm. Richards chronicles the formation of the Stones following their rise from playing small club gigs to stadium concerts. He describes the magical experience of playing on stage and the process of creating immortal riffs such as the ones in Jumping Jack Flash and Honky Tonk Women, the death of Brian Jones and his tense relationship with Mick Jagger.

Living up to his bad-boy rebel image, he details his drug habits, his arrests and convictions and his many close shaves. But at the end of it all, despite all the wealth and fame - it is still the music that matters most to him. ‘I could kick smack,’ he writes. ‘I couldn't kick music.’

Life is much more than an entertaining and revealing showbiz memoir. It is also a portrait of the coming of age of rock ’n’ roll and its massive impact on the music scene worldwide.

‘Funny, poignant, brutally honest, engagingly colloquial, Life is pure Keith Richards, as good a rock memoir as you are likely to read.’ Sally Cousins Sunday Telegraph

‘One of the greatest rock memoirs ever....’ David Fricke Rolling Stone

‘Mr. Richards has found a voice in these pages that enables him to dispense funny, streetwise observations, tender family reminiscences, casually profane yarns and wry literary allusions with both heart-felt sincerity and bad-boy charm.’
Books of The Times By Michiko Kakutani New York Times

‘The 500-plus pages of Life throb with energy, pulsate with rhythm and reverberate with good stories.’ The Independent