How Did Keith Richards Become Everyone’s Favourite Rolling Stone?

Well, by refusing to die, for one. And second, because he just doesn’t give a f**k. About anything. Here’s a good feature from The Telegraph.

“That’s all I got,” croaks Keith Richards, stumbling to an abrupt conclusion of light-finger acoustic blues, Crosseyed Heart. But clearly, that is not all. For here he is again with an album of the same name: another warm, swampy and deeply groovy concoction of rock, blues, country and soul, full of romantic tenderness and hard-earned wisdom, delivered in a spirit of pure vintage class.

An accompanying documentary, Under The Influence (exclusively available on Netflix), features Richards dispensing one-liners and whimsical anecdotes with a gruff whisper and chuckle, revealing nothing much except that he’s a happy old rocker. And when he runs out of things to say, he just lets his guitar do the talking.

Watching the old buccaneer in action, you have to wonder how did he become so universally loved? He has been hailed as the Human Riff and anointed the world’s most elegantly wasted human being, the bad-boy pin-up for junkie chic who still wears a lifetime of self-abuse in the lines of his heavily wrinkled face. Surely Richards should be nobody’s idea of a role model: self-indulgent, irresponsible, a star squandering his gifts on drugs and alcohol? Mick Jagger’s former partner, Jerry Hall, warned their children of the dangers of drugs by asking if they wanted to grow up to look like Uncle Keith. So how did such a reprobate survive five decades on the edge to become everybody’s favourite Rolling Stone?

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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