Life by Keith Richards (with an excerpt)

by |August 26, 2010

Click Pic to Place Pre-Order

“People say ‘why don’t you give it up?’ I don’t think they quite understand. I’m not doing it just for the money, or for you. I’m doing it for me.” — Keith Richards

From the US publisher of LIFE:

Dear friends,

The opportunity to publish an autobiography as enthralling as that of Keith Richards comes once in a lifetime—if you’re lucky! And lucky is what I’m feeling as I finish reading LIFE, the most exciting memoir I’ve ever had a hand in. Not only does it recount the essential rock ’n’ roll life—that would be plenty. It captures much more: Blasting past the constraints of postwar England; a passionate appetite for music, especially America’s heartfelt blues, R&B, country, and soul; how it felt to arrive in America with The Rolling Stones as torrents of change were unleashed. All those encounters and adventures we’ve heard of for decades—Redlands, Morocco, exile in France, Altamont—and the people—Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Marianne Faithfull, Anita Pallenberg, Gram Parsons, Patti Hansen, Johnny Depp and more – are here in Keith’s own vivid memories.

The best news of all is how superbly written this book is. Working with James Fox (I hope you know his excellent White Mischief ), Keith Richards has created his story in a voice as intimate and unmistakable as if he were sitting across from you talking. And the man sitting there is experienced,opinionated, witty, learned, and utterly unrestrained. We are lucky to have this extraordinary book, and I cannot wait to share it with you.

Michael Pietsch

Pre-Order Your Copy Here

(BBGuru: to read my take on the great man – click here)

US edition of Life by Keith Richards

And an Excerpt:

We’d be working all night in the studio, we’d be down in this bunker all night and suddenly the dawn comes up and we’ve got this boat. Go down the steps through the cave to the dockside, let’s take the boat—Mandrax— to Italy for breakfast. Most days we used to go down to Menton on the border, an Italian town just inside France by some quirk of treaty making, or just beyond it to Italy proper for breakfast. No passport, right past Monte Carlo, just as the sun’s coming up, with music ringing in our ears. Take a cassette player and play something we’ve done while we’re going there, play that second mix. Then we’d play it to the Italians, see what they thought while we’re having breakfast. Pick up some fresh fish. If you hit the fishermen at the right time, you could get red snapper straight off the boats and take it home for lunch.

We’d just jump in, Bobby Keys, me, Mick, whoever was up for it. We liked the way the Italians cooked their eggs, and the bread. And that you had actually crossed a border, there was a sort of an extra sense of freedom about it. Pull into Monte Carlo for lunch. Have a chat with either Onassis’ lot or Niarchos’, who had the big, big yachts there. You could almost see the guns pointed at each other. That’s why we called it Main Street. When we first came up with the title it worked in American terms because everybody’s got a main street. But our Main Street was that Riviera strip. And we were exiles, so it rung perfectly true and said everything we needed to say.

(BBGurur: Have you met Keith? Or have you got a good Rolling Stones story? Leave a comment: Tell us all about it.)

And Keith gives book recommendations too!

A true and towering original, he has always walked his own path, spoken his own mind, and done his own thing.

Reluctant outlaw, rock ‘n’ roll’s unparalleled hellraiser, and one of the greatest guitar gods of all time, Keith Richards has forged a life that most of us can only imagine–and often envy. And amazingly he’s lived to tell about it. Now, at last, in his own words, the ultimate rock Icon gives us the definitive rock autobiography.

In Life, in his own raw, fierce voice, the man himself tells about life lived fast and hard in the creative hurricane–from his early days as a young boy growing up in a council estate, listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records, to taking the guitar to its absolute limit and joining forces with Mick Jagger to form The Rolling Stones.

With unflinching honesty, he reveals all the highs and lows of rock ‘n’ roll, from the meteoric rise to fame and the notorious drug busts to the women, drinking, and heroin addiction that made him infamous. The living legend chronicles how he created the revolutionary, high-octane riffs that defined “Gimme Shelter” and “Honky Tonk Woman,” his affair with the equally infamous Anita Pallenberg (the mother of three of his children), and the tragic death of Brian Jones. From falling in love with Patti Hansen to his tumultuous relationship with Mick, we follow Keef on the ultimate road trip we have all longed to know more about–of an unfettered, fearless, on-the-edge life lived to the fullest.

PSSST! Keith’s book recommendation – he  says you can’t go wrong with Patrick O’Brian – we have lots of Patrick O’Brian novels for sale – click here to see.

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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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  • Thomas André

    August 27, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Christmas comes early this year. Can’t wait to get the book in my hands. Tks Keith for giving me (and a lot of others) the soundtrack to my life.

  • madelyn

    August 27, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Awesome, can’t wait to read this!

  • Excelsior

    August 28, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Thanks to Keiht for writing all those masterpieces

  • maggie

    August 28, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Will be bringing my copy of this book to be signed by keith at his Oct 29 appearance in NYC!

  • Excelsior

    September 1, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Wise man with soul.

  • billy watson

    September 7, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I’m SO looking forward to having Keef sign my copy of LIFE in NYC on October 29. Thanks for the music, Maetsro Richards !!!

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