Ashley's Reviews > Life

Life by Keith Richards
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Mar 31, 11

bookshelves: by-musicians, read-in-2011, memoir
Read from March 17 to 30, 2011

This seemed like a pretty long read, which was strange because I normally devour memoirs. I really enjoyed hearing about how he first got into guitar, loved all of the recording stories- I'm kind of a recording process junkie, so that was absolutely fascinating for me. I enjoyed hearing about his relationships with Mick & Charlie especially, and even really enjoyed the bits about Anita & Marlon- there was always something crazy going on there!

But I'm 21 years old, and am only a mild Stones fan, courtesy of my mother (who I actually stole this book from!). I wasn't really able to enjoy the book as much as I think "first generation" Stones fans could. Many of the names from his stories didn't mean anything to me. Especially his musical influences- 99.9% of those names went straight over my head. Anyone who's read this book knows that it's HEAVILY "name-based". He goes on and on about various people, and I just didn't have any context for it.

That factor made it a bit tedious, but other than that, I really enjoyed it. I think it would have been cool if Mick & Keith put out their autobiographies at the same time...it would be interesting to hear Mick's perspective on the tension between them now that the initial sparks are long gone.


So yea...overall it was an interesting enough read. The stories that were heavily name based were pretty tedious, just because I couldn't really read them in context, but the stories about the recording processes were absolutely fascinating. I'd definitely recommend this to Stones fans, as well as music history fans...but unless you have a good grasp on all of the people involved in their circle...forget about it! When it came to the name-based sections, it was so seemingly random to my 21-year old modern-music-listening self that it was nearly headache inducing to read a story involving 10-15 people that I've never even heard of (or have only heard their names in passing- still having no REAL context for it).


One thing I REALLY have to praise Keith for, is that this book never felt "cheap". He didn't take the easy/trashy way out by just recounting his crazy exploits. They were mentioned, no doubt...but it was clear that his intentions for this book were not to be scandalous...instead, it felt like a rather thoughtful reflection of his life...something he should definitely be proud of.
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03/17/2011 page 198
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