Thursday, August 26, 2010

First glance at Keith Richards’ new book

Told you yesterday about some of the details surrounding the upcoming Keith Richards autobiography, “Life,” set for release on October 26.

Little, Brown & Company Publisher Michael Pietsch has released his thoughts on the book, along with our first glance at an excerpt from it.

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
Here’s our first taste of Keith, in his own words…

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.
Some of Keith’s favorite books:

Before The Rolling Stones - Before They Make Me Run - Some Girls (Remastered)

The Rolling Stones – Before They Make Me Run
Licks Tour - MSG, NYC – January 16, 2003