James's Reviews > Life

Life by Keith Richards
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's review
Feb 02, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011
Read from January 07 to February 01, 2011

In his own words, the life story of one of the most influential guitar players and songwriters of the twentieth century. Keef leaves nothing out - his childhood, his first meeting Mick Jagger, the years forming the band, living in squalor (choosing to buy guitar strings instead of food), the rise to fame, the run-ins with the law and others, his contentious relationship with the other Glimmer Twin, the women, and, of course, the drugs. It's full of great, often hilarious, stories.

But the book comes most alive when he talks about listening to and playing music. He seems at his most unguarded and insightful when he talks about songwriting, how some of his classics came together, and the experience of playing music, especially as he's gotten the opportunity to work with some of his idols and influences.

The audiobook is read by Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley, and the author himself, with occasional guests describing their own experiences. James Fox followed Keith around for 5 years, recording his recollections. Fox wisely transcribed and organized it, but it seems he didn't do much in the way of re-writing the words. As a result, it has a wonderful conversational tone, like Keith is in the room with you, that obviously the audiobook enhances. While it's obviously mandatory reading for Stones fans, I would recommend it to anyone interested in music.

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