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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
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
Ce commentaire est de: 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
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: 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
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
Ce commentaire est de: 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keith's book rocks!, Dec 12 2010
Ce commentaire est de: Life (Hardcover)
Keith Richards is not just a brilliant guitarist and song writer... his book is clever and funny, and surprisingly thoughtful. He includes stories about growing up in England and struggling before the Stones hit it big. Some tales of Keith's exploits are written by his famous friends. There is more to Keith than meets the eye; he is not afraid to speak his mind about anything...and anyONE!Life
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No surprises!, Jan. 3 2011
Ce commentaire est de: Life (Hardcover)
Although there aren't really any surprises in this book Keith Richards has told a story about rock bands, guitars, drugs, chicks and loyalty. This is a man who is still in awe of the talent he started out emulating to the talent he became. No excuses made for the wild side of his life there are still a few lessons to be learned by this humble rock God. This a great read if you are a fan of any kind of music!
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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)   
Ce commentaire est de: 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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keith Tells His Story, Nov. 24 2010
By 
Alison S. Coad (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Life (Hardcover)
You're either a Rolling Stones fan or you're not; and if you are, likely you're either a Keith fan or a Mick fan. As a lifelong Keith fan, I of course immediately picked up "Life", Richards' autobiography (co-written with James Fox), although I didn't expect to learn anything new about this man's life, given how much has been written in tabloids and other books over the years. Well, I didn't really learn anything new, except that his habit of referring to women as either "chicks" or "b*****s" got to be annoying after a while. What really comes through in this book is his obvious love and deep understanding of music, not just his own music but any and all music, everywhere. It's often been said that while Mick Jagger is the face of the Stones, Keith is the band's soul, and this largely warm-hearted autobiography just gives us further proof of that. I'm not sure that anybody not already a fan would be too interested in the book - there's only so many ways to talk about drugs, addiction and legal problems, after all - but for those of us who are fans, this is a worthy addition to the Stones canon. Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rock and roll still lives - so is Keith, Jan. 14 2011
By 
Luanne Ollivier - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
Ce commentaire est de: Life (Hardcover)
I've had Life on my nightstand for a couple of months now. I've got some old vinyl (High Tide and Green Grass - the original 1966 release) on the turntable while I try to put thoughts to paper. Now, I wasn't buying music myself in '66 - but my youngest uncle was. I grew up listening to and loving all things rock 'n roll.

And really - Keith Richards is all things rock 'n roll. The Rolling Stone's longevity (creeping up on 50 years) is legendary. Just as legendary is guitarist Richards's longevity. Indeed - it has been asked many times - how is he still alive?
Richards is known for his excessive drug and alcohol use. I think what I expected when I started reading Life was a tell all book. But I was pleasantly proven wrong. Richards is intelligent, thoughtful, honest and funny. Much more complex than I would have thought. Yes,of course there are the drugs - they did play a huge part of his life, but he makes no excuses for it. It's part of his life, part of his past, part of what made him who he is.

It is his love of music that shines through the most though. The beginnings and birth of rock and roll in Britain, the exodus to the US, the players who started it all. Richards was there. These are the reminiscences I enjoyed the most. The 'gossip' is there as well. The friendship and rifts with Jagger are also an integral part of Richards' life. His relationship with women, his children and his love for his family. Lots of surprising details about the man himself as well. A human face to put with the legendary tales.

Life reads as a rambling conversation with a darn good storyteller. And there's always another story after that last one. I enjoyed reading this over the course of a couple of months. I like the pictures included in the book - lots of personal shots as well as band shots.

Life has been steadily on The New York Times Bestseller list since it's release. And it deserves to be. Recommended rock and roll reading.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very quotable, Nov. 25 2010
Ce commentaire est de: 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, Jan. 10 2011
Ce commentaire est de: Life (Hardcover)
As a lifelong Stones devotee, I was elated to receive this book and it did not disappoint. Many surprises in here, even for a guy like Keith Richards. How he survived that much poison in his body over such an extended period of time is nothing less than incredible. The friction he describes between himself and Mick is eye-opening, even shocking. I found myself rushing to the local music stores to flesh out past CD's and videos I may have missed. A great read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who ever listened to and enjoyed a Rolling Stones track.
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Life
Life by Keith Richards (Hardcover - Oct. 26 2010)
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