Life by Keith Richards

by |July 30, 2010

In that classic of modern  film, Wayne’s World Two,  Wayne and Garth go to London in search of celebrated roadie, Del Preston – they find him hanging up-side down, apparently asleep:

Garth: How can you sleep like that?

Del Preston: Listen, sonny Jim. Sleeping like this will add ten years to your life. I learned it from Keith Richards when I toured with The Stones. This may be the reason why Keith cannot be killed by conventional weapons.

Keith cannot be killed by conventional weapons!

Now Keith’s written a memoir called Life (out  in November)…

And suddenly I get the impression that I have been looking for the Messiah in all the wrong places.

Keith Richards is the Messiah. He has taken all of our sins, and a truck load of his own, onto his shoulders and  he still lives and breathes! Who can really tell just how many times time Keith has died only to rise again? Huh? He could have done it hundreds, nay, thousands of time already!

…cannot be killed by conventional weapons! (or coconut trees)

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy.

Life by Keith Richards may just be the greatest book ever published by a human. It may contain the secret to everlasting, everblasting life!

I would like the publishers to add a sub-title – Life (or why I haven’t died yet) by Keith Richards.

What do you think?

Here’s what the Publishers have to say about Life:

Keith Richards’ once-in-a-generation memoir recounts one of the most eventful, influential and closely watched lives of modern times. No other major rock band has been creating music and magic together so continuously.

They recorded some of the most enduring songs of our times including ‘Satisfaction’, ‘Jumping Jack Flash’, ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ and ‘Start Me Up’, written by Keith and his writing partner and Stones vocalist Mick Jagger.Born in Dartford in Kent in December 1943 in the same cottage hospital as Jagger had been delivered five months earlier, Keith’s personal roots were in the south of England. But his musical roots were in R&B and it was this that brought him together with Mick, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones.

From the first tiny club gigs where there was barely room to shake and rattle, never mind roll, the band soon gravitated to huge international stadiums with its groundbreakingly dramatic act.

This is the story of The Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band in the world as only Keith can tell it. He describes not only how the music evolved but supplies the truth and context to the tales of sex, drugs, guns, more drugs and of course rock n’roll and the timeless music that have helped define the band’s international reputation.

To ensure you don’t miss out on the secret to everlasting life – Pre-Order Life by Keith Richards now – click here…

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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  • Excelsior

    August 28, 2010 at 6:37 am

    I get tired of reading jokes about how Mr. Richards should be dead. Its kind of insulting to his intelligence don’t you think? Maybe he isn’t that person you thought he was all along?

    • August 31, 2010 at 7:43 pm

      Yes Excelsior, your comment is perfectly stated. Some little prick with the NYT made a snide little comment about ‘how much Mr. Richards remembers. . . ” I will be sending a critical reply to that confused and ignorant bed-wetter about the fact that Mr. Richards probably remembers a lot more than he does. Mr. Richards is famous for going without sleep for days on end, so he’s probably packed 2 or 3 lives into the one he has been given.
      Anyone with a passing experience of drugs knows that they don’t screw with the long-term memory. Those hazy days can come back with startling clarity a few months down the line. While the little smart-ass at the NYT was busy wetting his bed at night, Mr. Richards was no doubt involved in activities eminently more fun interesting and productive. The only times when his memory might have some lapses is if he ever happened to black out during a drinking binge. And of course on those rare occasions when he happened to be sleeping.
      Being a recreational drug user for 35 years, and a heavy drinker for 10 years while I was in my 20s, I can tell you that alcohol is by far the most lethal and most potent destructive force of the psychoactive substances. So, if the little bed-wetter at the NYT has ever done grade A smack or Peruvian flake that’s 90% pure and doesn’t remember it, then he has something wrong with him besides his congenital condition of somnolent nocturnal urination while in a supine position.
      It’s good to hear that others, like you, know enough about Mr. Richards’ life and activities to realize that he has one of the most intelligent minds and creative energies among today’s cultural producers. I’m looking forward to reading his take on the history of the 2nd half of the 20th century, and the first decade of the 21st. Since he is an avid student of history, I’m sure he has an innate sense of historiography which will allow him to put some sense into the bewilderment and barbarity that Anglo-American culture has shown during that period. From my view, his position is one of an artist trying to create under the most devious and oppressive of political and economic pressures that the ‘leaders’ of those years have perpetrated on the ‘sheep’ in the usa and the uk.
      Were it not for the Rolling Stones and particularly his creative output, we would be a lot worse off today had Mr. Richards not had a fascination with music and his Grandpa Dupree’s guitar 60 years ago. His intelligence and his activities have given him the opportunity to absorb events of those decades from a unique perspective. His generosity in sharing it with us is a noble act that will benefits us as greatly as the incisive wit and remarkable perception by which he will be telling it. Mr. Richards’ autobiography will give us more meaningful knowledge about the past star-crossed half century than a roomful of bed-wetting NYT journalists could ever hope to offer us.

  • JGH

    October 26, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I cannot wait for this book, some of his quotes make no sense until you take the time and brain power to unravel them. Bring it on, a higher existence awaits me just as long as I can glean something from Keef.

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