London Mayor Boris Johnson says Rolling Stone Keith Richards should be knighted.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Johnson takes the stand under the headline: “If Mick Jagger’s a Sir, why can’t Keith Richards have the same satisfaction?”
While heavily criticizing former British PM Tony Blair for events under his watch, Johnson says it’s a crime Keith hasn’t received official recognition at the same level as Jagger.
“It is a continuing scandal that Keef Richards has not been made, at the very least, a knight bachelor, and the outrage became clear to me this Christmas when – like so many other men of my generation – I was sentenced to “Life.” That is, I was given a copy of Keef's super-selling autobiography of that name; and by the end of my researches I felt the full weight of the injustice.”
Johnson goes on at length about the book and weighs some pros and cons about how Keith has lived his life, while reaching his conclusion that the Stones guitar hero is just too important a figure in British history to pass over for some sort of recognition.
“This is the man whose inexhaustible work ethic produced virtually every landmark Stones riff, from 'Satisfaction' to 'Honky Tonk Woman' to 'Start Me Up,' and whose lasting historical contribution was to reintroduce Americans to their own blues music,” writes Johnson. “Rock 'n' roll was the most extraordinary art form of the second half of the 20th century, and Keef is one of its most brilliant exponents, and one of this country's most successful exports. He is not just a credit to Sidcup Art School; he is an inspiration to every London child who peeps a recorder or strums a guitar.”
“I cannot think of another member of the British artistic, cultural or media world who has done so much or who has so widely penetrated the global consciousness,” concludes Johnson. “David Attenborough? Stephen Fry? He knocks them into a cocked hat, to say nothing of the politicians and quangocrats who will cart off the gongs next week. Arise Sir Keef, I say, and if there were any damn merit in it, he would have the Order of Merit, too.”
Read the full article in the Daily Telegaph here.
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones – Everybody Needs Somebody To Love/Pain In My Heart / Around And Around / The Last Time
NME Poll Winners Concert
Wembley Stadium – London, UK – April 11, 1965