By Keith Richards & James Fox
(Little, Brown & Company, 2010)
Life is perhaps the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll survivor tale from one of the most well-regarded guitarists of the genre, The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards.
Richards’ memoir was brought to the page with the capable support of James Fox. The characteristically candid memoir fascinatingly documents Richards’ far from ordinary existence, including his drug addictions (and related arrests), his famously combustible relationship with The Stones’ lithe frontman Mick Jagger, his early musical experiences and much more besides.
Interestingly, there is very little remorse from Richards for his substance abuse, copious amounts of sex and general hell raising whilst a part of arguably the world’s biggest rock ‘n’ roll band. Imagine a jet-set Bukowski novel, if you will.
Furthermore, his reflections on the character of the former Stone Brian Jones who died in his pool in 1969 not long after being fired by Richards and Jagger from the band is cutting to say the least. And the revelation he has not visited Jagger’s dressing room in over 20 years is startling.
Though Richards doesn’t emerge out the book as the most likeable of characters, Life is a tremendously forthright, engrossing and often remarkable read.