MARILYN THURGOOD writes ...
He is best known as the guitarist, secondary vocalist, and co-principal songwriter of the Rolling Stones.
- Richards attended Wentworth Primary School with Mick Jagger.
- Richards claims he was hooked on music when he was just 3 years old. He began to listen to artists like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughn.
- As a struggling young musician, he shared a flat with Jagger and Brian Jones.
4. He was a boy scout. He said “It was mainly a chance to swagger around with a knife on your belt.”
5. He loves Shepherds pie.
6. NZ Herald extracts:. “The Satisfaction rockers were invited to the legendary house by media mogul Hugh Hefner in the early 1970s and things went wrong when guitarist Keith Richards and Bobby Keys - who played saxophone for the group - stole their doctor's bag to try the drugs it contained”.
“Keith recalled: "We nearly burnt down the Playboy mansion. Hugh Hefner had invited the Stones to stay at the Chicago Playboy Mansion around '72”.
Grunge extract: “Richards tells another version of the story in his memoir: As he and Keys were busy dealing with the array of drugs, they suddenly noticed that the room was getting quite smoky. The drapes of the bathroom were already smoldering and everything was "just about to go off big-time," when they heard banging on the door. A bunch of waiters and men in black suits stormed in, carrying buckets of water. The two musicians sat on the floor with their pupils constricted to pinpoints, annoyed at the way their private celebration had been interrupted”.
7. He never makes the first move on a woman he says “I just don’t know how to do it. I’m tongue-tied.”
8. Richards has described the plane the Stones used to get around as “a pirate nation,” and his flag was the iconic tongue.
9. Keith kept a liberal supply of heroin on stage that was cut into lines and hidden amid the amplifiers. He had heroin-laced cigarettes on stage to smoke while he was playing. The tour he was on was running fairly smoothly until Richards and his cocaine supplier were arrested in Arkansas. Nonetheless, they called in a few favours, paid a $162 bail, and were soon back on the road.
10. Keith Richards claims to have written the guitar riff to Satisfaction in his sleep. He claims to sleep only two nights a week on average. Keith said “This means that I have been conscious for at least three lifetimes,” he notes.
11. On December, 1965 Keith Richards was playing with the Stones at a concert, his guitar touched his mic stand and a flame shot out. Keith fell to the ground unconscious. He suffered severe shock from the electrical surge from the microphone. He was rushed to hospital. It could have been his thick soles in his shoes that saved him. Rubber is an insulator which stops electricity passing through. Next night he was back playing.
12. Keith Richards grew up in Dartford Kent.