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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories of a rock'n'roll life
If there's a person out there whose life needed to be chronicled, it's Keith Richards. And you know what's really amazing? He actually remembers it, despite all those drugs. So as you could probably guess, his "Life" is an amazing read -- Richards glides through his own eventful past with grace, charm and a slightly sarcastic sense of humor.

Richards was the...
Published on Oct. 29 2010 by E. A Solinas

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book for a Life that few have
I found the book an interesting review of the life of a modern day artist, working tirelessly (with the help of a bunch of stuff) to simply perfect and hone his craft. The really interesting aspect of the book is the honesty with which he portrays his relationships with people, especially Mick Jagger; drugs; "methods of self defense"; and the interplay that these factors...
Published on Aug. 13 2011 by Guy In Ottawa


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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories of a rock'n'roll life, Oct. 29 2010
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
If there's a person out there whose life needed to be chronicled, it's Keith Richards. And you know what's really amazing? He actually remembers it, despite all those drugs. So as you could probably guess, his "Life" is an amazing read -- Richards glides through his own eventful past with grace, charm and a slightly sarcastic sense of humor.

Richards was the "choirboy to school rebel" raised in Dartford, where he began to blossom at the birth of rock'n'roll. And after some false starts in other areas, his love of music began to gel into something when he met Mick Jagger (they bonded over their shared love of American blues music), and ended up forming a band called the Rolling Stones.

You know how it goes: they became the creative heart of the Rolling Stones, who started off as a penniless little blues band and turned into the wildest rock stars of the sixties and seventies. Richards' life became wrapped up in stardom, his sensual avant-garde lover Anita Pallenberg, and a heroin addiction -- until he inevitably yanked himself back up, found new love, and survived despite the odds.

I've always had a soft spot for Keith Richards -- he's had a crazy, colorful, dramatic life full of scandal and raw talent, but by all acounts, he's a nice guy. And "Life" doesn't disprove that -- Richards is less interested in telling all than in exploring the interesting parts of his life.

His style is laid-back and contemplative, as if you were just sitting in his living room listening to the old rocker reminiscing about his life. He talks a LOT about music (creating it, listening to it, playing it), encountering fascinating people, and carefully painting portraits of the many places he's travelled to.

Richards himself seems like an unpretentious, blunt guy with a positive outlook, who freely admits his mistakes because they're in the past. He also has nice things to say about almost everybody, although some things (Brian Jones beating Anita) make him pretty mad. But he doesn't shy away from bleaker times, such as when he recounts how his son Marlon had to help him during his druggiest days.

And he has a sarcastically witty streak -- he says that he was "kind of proud" to be the #1 on death lists for ten years running. "I was really disappointed when I went down the charts. Finally dropping down to number nine. Oh my God, it's over."

If you weren't a fan of "Keef" before this, his unpretentious and fascinating "Life" might just win you over. It's a rich rollercoaster of pain, music and love.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keith Richards' Life, Feb. 22 2012
By 
M. Yakiwchuk (Edmonton, Alberta Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life (Paperback)
Let me offer you my unique perspective on this book: I'm 30 years old, listen to the Stones music only occaisionally when it is on the radio, and I would not consider myself a fan of the band's music before I read this book. Since reading "Life" however, I would consider myself a fan of the Rolling Stones' music. What I would have wanted to know before reading this book, is "is it for me?" I've never been able to relate to the "rockstar" lifestyle, I enjoy many kinds of music, not just rock 'n roll, and I view Keith Richards as a cautionary tale on drug abuse. Having said all that, Life is a terrific read.

Regardless of your opinion of Keith Richards, he is without a doubt an interesting person. And his band is one of many musical groups that have both reflected and helped shape modern culture. If there's one weakness of this book it's that other rock and roll bands like AC/DC, Kiss, and Aerosmith go virtually un-mentioned in the book. Obviously the Rolling Stones aren't the only rock band in the world, or even perhaps the most influential, but as its lead guitarist Keith Richards has a vested interest in promoting them. Notwithstanding his pro-Stones viewpoint, Richards does manage to give credit where it is due, taking his hat off (as he puts it) to the many musicians and other musical influences on him. This is after all Keith Richards' life, and it reflects his unique viewpoint.

So, should you read this book? You will find Life appealing if you an interest in the Rolling Stones' music or music in general, as well as if you are interested in the history of the Rolling Stones as told from Keith Richards' perspective and those of his friends. Above all Richards comes across as honest: He corroborates his anecdotes with quotations from multiple sources where possible, and expresses doubt over the accuracy of stories when he can't provide this corroborating evidence. While there will be skeptics (did he REALLY do that?), I believe that Richards is telling these stories as he remembers them. He's also honest in pointing out when somebody elses recollection of an event differs from his own. It's his way of telling the stories of his life and that of the Rolling Stones that leads me to believe he's telling the truth. And truth in any biography is the mother lode. Rock on, Mr. Richards, rock on. 4/5
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem, Jan. 31 2011
By 
Len (Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
"Life" is about the music, the friends and family and the drugs and not the fame. His story begins in childhood growing up just outside of London in the working class town of Dartford, Kent. There he made mischief exploring the local environs and putting cardboard in the spokes of his bicycle as many of us did back in the days of freewheeling childhood. Eventually he was introduced to the guitar by his grandfather and developed a love for the blues, which he shared with Mick, a guy he knew from the neighbourhood. Dedication to his craft obviously played a decisive role in the emergence of the Rolling Stones as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time however Mr. Richards gives Fortune an equal claim to his success. For example, Brian Jones was first considered leader of the band yet Andrew Oldman, their producer sent Keith and Mick into a kitchen to write the first Rolling Stones and the rest is history. His loyalty to friends might help explain the longevity of the Rolling Stones band. Instead of being incensed by Mick Jagger's attempt at a solo career, Keith was hurt. He believed that Jagger had fallen in love with his own image and thus had lost touch with the music. Keith too wrote and performed as a solo artist however he always left an opening in his heart for Mick to return. Keith remained with his first wife until her love was completely overtaken by drugs and he's been with his second wife for 30 years. He's had the same manager for decades and he's provided support and companionship to his father ever since they reunited in 1982. Bobby Keys has been a buddy of his from the beginning. Ironically, drugs might have played a role in Mr. Richards success. He never seemed to care about fame and glory very possibly because he was too busy looking for his next fix, dodging the police, playing concerts, and writing songs for their next album. He didn't have the time or energy to listen to all the people who might have thought he was an entity greater than the rest of mankind. Fortunately, Keith says that he could afford only the best quality drugs that were not laced with poison and so did not cause him permanent damage. Mr. Richards tells a story of hard work and luck and someone who truly loves his craft.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `I can't untie the threads of how much I played up to the part that was written for me.', Jan. 18 2011
By 
Jennifer Cameron-Smith "Expect the Unexpected" (ACT, Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
So, who is Keith Richards? A young man asked me this question when I was holding this book a week or so ago. I answered by reference to the Rolling Stones: he'd heard of them. Made me remember, though, just how long the Stones have been part of my musical life. It's been over 40 years. The Rolling Stones were formed in 1962 - almost 50 years ago. Amazing.

When I decided to read this book, I was interested in reading what Keith Richards would have to say about the public aspects of his life as both a talented musician and a drug addict. I was also interested in his view of the successes and excesses of the Rolling Stones. But mostly, I wanted to see something of the man behind the legend.

It's an interesting read: the first part is personal history; the second part is public legend; and the final part is where a more mellow (it's a relative term) Keith Richards exists. Keith Richards has survived the excesses of his past, and his memoir is peopled with many who did not. Some of the legends (curing his heroin addiction through a blood transfusion in Switzerland, and snorting his father's ashes) are explained and can be dismissed. Others - the detailed substance abuse - serve to underline how fortunate Richards was to survive.

Three aspects of the book stand out for me: the historical account of a rock and roll world of excess (in which women were `chicks' or `bitches'); the details of the music Richards made, and those musical heroes who inspired him; and his relationship with Mick Jagger. The historical account is in many ways not new: others have written about the Stones and memoirs of excess are neither new nor uncommon. It's Keith Richards's writing about his musical influences and the process of writing songs and making music, though, which makes this memoir most interesting.

`Life' is worth reading. Not just for fans of the Rolling Stones and those who wondered how Keith Richards has managed to survive, but also for those who are interested in the history of rock and roll music and culture.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very quotable, Nov. 25 2010
This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
Keith Richards is quotable, frank, complex, and at times laugh out loud funny. I always wondered why I liked this old, chauvinistic, partying rockstar. I can identify with this story of survival and dealing with, in true rockstar fashion, being an outcast by mainstream and agencies of her Royal Majesty.

On their Redlands bust: "But the dark side of this was discovering that we'd become the focal point of a nervous establishment.... I was in jail because I'd obviously pissed off the authorities. I'm a guitar player in a pop band and I'm being targeted by the British government and its vicious police force, all of which shows me how frightened they are. We won two world wars, and these people are shivering in their goddam boots."

I lived vicariously, while reading this book, seeing life through the eyes of an anti-establishment rockstar and it was awesome!

Also, you if you do love the music, this book reads like the best playlist - EVER!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book for a Life that few have, Aug. 13 2011
By 
Guy In Ottawa (Ottawa, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life (Paperback)
I found the book an interesting review of the life of a modern day artist, working tirelessly (with the help of a bunch of stuff) to simply perfect and hone his craft. The really interesting aspect of the book is the honesty with which he portrays his relationships with people, especially Mick Jagger; drugs; "methods of self defense"; and the interplay that these factors have on the actual music created and played by the Rolling Stones and the X-pensive Winos, etc. With equal diligence, Keith Richards plays tribute to an amazing variety of past and present artists. The recount, however, rambles quite a bit, and is hard to follow in some instances. with equal difficulty, there is no mention of any of the past or current members of the Rolling Stones in the Acknowledgments. Anyway, great book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book !, May 14 2014
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This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
I am amazed that this guy is still alive. Sure led an amazing life.
I really enjoyed his style and sense of humour.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable lifestyle of a rockstar, Feb. 22 2014
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This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
Though I purchased the book for my husband, who likes rock and roll music, I read it as well.
I was blown away by the very honest and often hilarious adventures of Keith Richards. The book also gives a tremendous insight in the world of the Rolling Stones band. How they started out, his personal relationship with Mike Jagger and other musicians.
He certainly was one of the best guitar players of his genre. He talks with surprising honesty about his first marriage, the love for his current wife and his children. He relays the years of partying, drug use etc. but left all that behind him years ago.
All together a very interesting auto biography which I can highly recommend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good book, Feb. 19 2014
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This review is from: Life (Kindle Edition)
Really solid, informative read written by someone who has a remarkable memory, given the history of pharmaceuticals. I liked the use of third-party memories/quotes. I think the discussion of the technical aspects of the his craft will appeal to musicians. Good book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Slow start buts good book, Feb. 5 2014
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This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
The start was about his growing up, found it a little slow but defiantly picked up as I got further into it. If your a stones fan I recommend it.
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Life by James Fox (Paperback - May 3 2011)
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