Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Keith Richards’ “Life” is Already Number 1–Not Released Til Tuesday


Keith Richards’ memoir isn’t officially released until Tuesday. And still, it’s the number 1 book in every category on

The book, called “Life,” has already been excerpted and much talked about–especially since it seems the Rolling Stones guitarist seems like he’s lacerated everyone he ever knew, and then some.

Richards is particularly hard on best pal and band mate for life Mick Jagger. But you can’t tell whether Jagger will be angry or just bemused by Keith “taking the piss.”

Something tells me it’s all an inside joke to these lifelong party boys.

Interestingly, what’s been published so far tracks along with Bebe Buell‘s memoir, “Rebel Heart,” also available on amazon. The 2001 autobiography is full of Buell’s reminisces of Jagger and Richards. She and Jagger had an affair in the 1970s and remained good friends. She and Richards were pals, too, although it remained platonic between them.

Bebe tells me that Richards’ evaluation of Jagger’s personal, er, equipment, is incorrect. She defends him to the death.

There’s much in “Rebel Heart” to compare with “Life”; Rolling Stones historians should take a second look at it.

I love one long observation from page 118: “The chemistry between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards was like that between siblings, yet Mick had a lot of respect for Keith. Sometimes Keith would just nod off and fall asleep on the couch, and Mick always said, “Just leave him alone. Let him be.” Mick had accepted Keith for who he was. Sometimes Keith would be sleeping during a conversation, or you’d think he was sleeping, and he’d suddenly say, “Nao, nao, you’re wrong about,” and go back to sleep.”

I never saw Mick lose his temper with Keith. I noticed that Keith sometimes lost his patience with Mick. Mick would say something and Keith would interrupt him. “Oh Gawd. Please, dear!” It was as if they were married; Mick was the woman and Keith was the man.

Mick didn’t like arguing with Keith because Keith was always so much nastier and so much better at it. “Oh, just shut up, Mick! What the f— do you know anyway?” he’d say.”

Buell, by the way, is very amused by all the latest TV shows that end in “Wives”– Army Wives, Football Wives. And VH-1’s announcement of a reality show about the wives of low level rock stars. She hatched an idea in 1998 for a comedy series called “Rock Wives,” and sold it to HBO in 2004.

Editor’s note: That was long before professional rock groupie Pamela des Barres–  the rocker-come-lately’s who followed her–got the idea to hit the small screen.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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