Life by Keith Richards
What’s it about? As lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards has lived life fast and hard. In Life, Keith recalls with unflinching honesty and vivid detail the highs and lows of The Rolling Stones’ meteoric rise to fame and the notorious drug busts, women, drinking, and heroin addiction that made him infamous.
His conflicted-albeit-creatively rich relationship with Mick Jagger, the tax exile in France and the recording of Exile on Main Street, marriage to Patti Hansen, the genesis of rock classics such as Satisfaction and Honky Tonk Woman… these are just a few of the stories included in this audiobook.
Is the narrator any good? This audio book has 3 narrators – it starts with Keith Richards reading the intro, then Johnny Depp reads 4 chapters, then Joe Hurley reads a few more chapters, Johnny Depp comes back for a while and then the last couple are read by Keith. I found it took some time to adjust after each change to the new voice, but each of the narrators do an excellent job individually so I’m not complaining…. it’s just a little odd, that’s all.
The verdict? If you are a Stones fan this audio book is a no-brainer. You’ll love getting the inside scoop on how certain songs were written, including the debunking of a number of interpretations of lyrics. And if you’re not a huge Stones fan? So long as you’re up for some rock and roll stories – that means drugs, sex, self-indulgence, rowdy behavior, etc – then I think you’ll love this audiobook as well.
Personally, I found Life to be riveting. This is a brutally honest, funny and, at times, soul-baring memoir from a very likable and intelligent guy who has done things his own way. I even found myself enjoying the explanation of guitar riffs, and I don’t play the guitar or understand much about the technical aspects of music-making. One tip before I go: as you listen to the audio book, each time a song is mentioned stop the book, go to YouTube and listen to it done live by the Stones, then come back to the book. Doing this makes an already incredibly enjoyable audiobook even better.