Life

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Life

by James Fox, Keith Richards

Little, Brown And Company | May 3, 2011 | Trade Paperback

Life is rated 3.9 out of 5 by 10.
The long-awaited autobiography of the guitarist, songwriter, singer, and founding member of the Rolling Stones. Ladies and gentlemen: Keith Richards.

With The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the songs that roused the world, and he lived the original rock and roll life.

Now, at last, the man himself tells his story of life in the crossfire hurricane. Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records, learning guitar and forming a band with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones. The Rolling Stones''s first fame and the notorious drug busts that led to his enduring image as an outlaw folk hero. Creating immortal riffs like the ones in "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Honky Tonk Women." His relationship with Anita Pallenberg and the death of Brian Jones. Tax exile in France, wildfire tours of the U.S., isolation and addiction. Falling in love with Patti Hansen. Estrangement from Jagger and subsequent reconciliation. Marriage, family, solo albums and Xpensive Winos, and the road that goes on forever.

With his trademark disarming honesty, Keith Richard brings us the story of a life we have all longed to know more of, unfettered, fearless, and true.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 576 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.75 in

Published: May 3, 2011

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 031603441X

ISBN - 13: 9780316034418

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated out of 5 by from I was graced with this book from a near and dear friend before purchasing it for a relative. I am in the habit of reading music biographies and this is by far the best one I read in the past year. This defeats Gene Simmons book and Steven Tyler's latest look at what is in his head bothering everyone out side it. Although it is close to 600 pages in smaller print, as is stated on the cover, it is like sitting down with Keef and talking in detail about his life in fine detail, through growing up in London, the drugged out years and subsequent arrests for that and of course through it all, his ongoing life as a Rolling Stone, innovative lead guitarist and solo artist. He shares his sensitivity to the blues genre and his constant striving and inspiration to write interesting and innovative pop music. Like him or not, the reader is bound to gain a new found respect for Keef and his music through this deep introspective writing. I certainly give it 5/5 stars and can only hope that it has set a standard by which all other music biographies should at least aspire to.
Date published: 2013-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Super Great If your a Stones Fan , this is it !!!! You'll walk along in the footsteps , that's how it feels and is written , decades of adventures told to you like your a fly on the wall. A better more interesting person you will not find.
Date published: 2012-12-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brutally honest and a great read. Sure, the writing ain't perfect and at times clumsy, but that's what makes it so great. If you want to know anything about the Rolling Stones pick this up and you'll get the feeling that you've known them for years. Sure, sometimes the British jargon is confusing and odd for a North American, but it makes it all the more real. This is Keith's story and he's telling it in his own words and chronology. Truly a must read for an poor soul that considers themselves a fan of classic rock, blues or music in general.
Date published: 2012-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read for Stones fans and biography lovers This is a great read for lovers of autobiographies. Keith Richards did not use a ghost writer, so even though it's a bit garbled in places, it sounds like the real man coming through. This should be the point in biographies, not some sanitized version of events written by someone who wasn't there. This comes from the heart. There are quite a few places I skimmed over, as he tends to ramble about guitar stuff, but this is his passion, so it's to be expected. I do not play the guitar, nor do I really know the lingo, so I skipped much of it. Guitar players will find it fascinating, however. He starts with his childhood in London, which is where all good life stories should start, as it gives you insight on the person when you see how they grew up. He talks through the early days of the Rolling Stones, his obsession with the blues, touring America in the turbulent 60s, drug addictions, kicking the habit (he's been heroin free for 30 years), the famous myths, all the way up to present day. I found it gave me a new appreciation for the Stone's music and I have been hearing it differently. I hated for the book to end, I enjoyed it so much. It's like saying goodbye to a new friend, you want to stay and chat longer.
Date published: 2011-05-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Long and tedious I found this book a bit of a challenge to get through. He goes off and rambles on about something unrelated to what he was just talking about previously. He spends a lot of time about different guitar techniques which would have been good if I knew how to play guitar. Overall though I did find parts of this book good to read, but it probably would have been a better book if he'd had a ghost writer take what he had to say and put it in a more structured way. I will give him props though, throughout the book when talking about drugs he constantly says "Don't do it, don't start, it's not worth it".
Date published: 2011-04-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from How could you survive this life? An incredible and true (!) story of Stones guitarist, Keith Richards, and his long career in music and simultaneous battles with heroin. The saga begins with Richards' humble beginnings in working-class England after WW2 and his early love for music. As the Stones develop as a band, and fame begins to grow, his life becomes a lot more interesting. Throughout the sixties and seventies, he takes us through the fast-paced world of rock stardom, fuelled by drugs and adrenaline. The best moments of the book is when Richards opens up about his relationship to the other members of his band but he really doesn't do this as often as you might expect. Towards the end of the book, he comments on his friendship with Jagger and the troubles that they share. Although Keith is uniformly positive about his opinion of Charlie Watts, he doesn't really say a whole lot about Ron Wood or Bill Wyman. The end of the book (last quarter) drags a bit as Richards sobers up and stops being a Rolling Stone for the most part. Although his solo career is important to him and his true-blue fans, I wasn't terribly interested. I would have preferred more time spent on the Brian Jones era because I think this was the most tumultous period in the band's history and the best music was produced during this time (in my opinion). Overall, a pretty decent bio on one of the most colourful characters in rock music.
Date published: 2011-04-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Hmmm I really liked this book. I found a lot of the things he had to say about the way the times were and his views on music to be very interesting. I didn't enjoy the stories about his fights with Mick Jagger and the rest of the band. One thing I also found was that it's hard to follow sometimes. It's written in a lot of sentence fragments, and he talks about people like you should know who they are even though they're not famous. Also, if you're not overly interested in guitar, this book is not for you. He goes into great detail many times about how the songs are written and how he plays certain riffs.
Date published: 2011-02-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rock and roll is still alive - and so is Keith I've had Life on my nightstand for a couple of months now. I've got some old vinyl (High Tide and Green Grass - the original 1966 release) on the turntable while I try to put thoughts to paper. Now, I wasn't buying music myself in '66 - but my youngest uncle was. I grew up listening to and loving all things rock 'n roll. And really - Keith Richards is all things rock 'n roll. The Rolling Stone's longevity (creeping up on 50 years) is legendary. Just as legendary is guitarist Richards's longevity. Indeed - it has been asked many times - how is he still alive? Richards is known for his excessive drug and alcohol use. I think what I expected when I started reading Life was a tell all book. But I was pleasantly proven wrong. Richards is intelligent, thoughtful, honest and funny. Much more complex than I would have thought. Yes,of course there are the drugs - they did play a huge part of his life, but he makes no excuses for it. It's part of his life, part of his past, part of what made him who he is. It is his love of music that shines through the most though. The beginnings and birth of rock and roll in Britain, the exodus to the US, the players who started it all. Richards was there. These are the reminiscences I enjoyed the most. The 'gossip' is there as well. The friendship and rifts with Jagger are also an integral part of Richards' life. His relationship with women, his children and his love for his family. Lots of surprising details about the man himself as well. A human face to put with the legendary tales. Life reads as a rambling conversation with a darn good storyteller. And there's always another story after that last one. I enjoyed reading this over the course of a couple of months. I like the pictures included in the book - lots of personal shots as well as band shots. Life has been steadily on The New York Times Bestseller list since it's release. And it deserves to be. Recommended rock and roll reading.
Date published: 2011-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Real Sleeze Love it! Keith or Keef as his friends call him provides us with an account of his Life. From the his upbringing in post-war London to the Swinging Sixties to the glory days of the Stones in the 70's and to more recent times - the book covers the most interesting points. But...it would have been nice if he could have provided more details on some of the Stones music and song origins along with his thoughts of the 500,000 attended SARS show in Toronto. What I was not expecting was his thoughts on fellow Glimmer Twin Mick Jagger where Keith was always about the music while Sir Mick was trying to jump on the latest trend. I wonder if this book will force Mick Jagger to counteract with his own bio. Great stuff, one of the best books of the year.
Date published: 2010-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "LIFE". Love it! Good book, revealing and to the point, just as the man (Keith Richards) himself. Even when the book, sometimes, got technicle, with many names dropping, I understood and knew exactly where I was in the story. I got to know much better the "real" Keith Richards, who I respect even more now; what an amazing life and journey the Rolling Stones had.
Date published: 2010-11-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Difficult read. While I can't say I'm a huge fan of the Rolling Stones, I was interested in reading this memoir. Surely Keith Richards must have a good story to tell and he does, only it is written as if he was speaking to you. He has a typical British way of telling a story, full of local expressions of which the typical Canadian won't understand. At present, I am about 1/3 of the way through and can't say if I will be able to get through to the end. I find myself skipping paragraphs that simply get bogged down in tedious unnecessary detail. Could be a good book on tape.
Date published: 2010-11-07

– More About This Product –

Life

by James Fox, Keith Richards

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 576 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.75 in

Published: May 3, 2011

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 031603441X

ISBN - 13: 9780316034418

About the Book

The lead guitarist for The Rolling Stones recounts his life, from a youth obsessed with Chuck Berry to the formation of the Stones and their subsequent stardom, and discusses his problems with drugs, the death of Brian Jones, and his relationship with Mick Jagger.

From the Publisher

The long-awaited autobiography of the guitarist, songwriter, singer, and founding member of the Rolling Stones. Ladies and gentlemen: Keith Richards.

With The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the songs that roused the world, and he lived the original rock and roll life.

Now, at last, the man himself tells his story of life in the crossfire hurricane. Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records, learning guitar and forming a band with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones. The Rolling Stones''s first fame and the notorious drug busts that led to his enduring image as an outlaw folk hero. Creating immortal riffs like the ones in "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Honky Tonk Women." His relationship with Anita Pallenberg and the death of Brian Jones. Tax exile in France, wildfire tours of the U.S., isolation and addiction. Falling in love with Patti Hansen. Estrangement from Jagger and subsequent reconciliation. Marriage, family, solo albums and Xpensive Winos, and the road that goes on forever.

With his trademark disarming honesty, Keith Richard brings us the story of a life we have all longed to know more of, unfettered, fearless, and true.

About the Author

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 lives in Connecticut with his wife, Patti Hansen.

Editorial Reviews

"A vivid self-portrait and, of the Stones and their musical era, a grand group portrait....spellbinding storytelling."-Richard Corliss, Time
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