Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I’m currently reading Keith Richards autobiography Life and good ol’ Keef has a nice turn of phrase and a frankness about his misadventures which is both entertaining and refreshingly candid for this type of memoir (the very best of which I would argue is Motley Crue: The Dirt – you may doubt this but it is seriously the most entertaining read about a band ever).

What strikes me most is Keith’s tales of growing up poor in Dartford. My parents, of a similarly impoverished background, grew up on the streets of Stoke-on-Trent and the stories they’ve told me of growing up sound vaguely similar to Keith’s (minus the dead hobo). Undoubtedly times were hard and kids up to mischief or trying to make a bob had a freedom that children growing up today (in weathly Western countries at least) could never have.

Reading Life, I get this weird sense of nostalgia for a culture when Keith Richards was seen as one of the most dangerous men in the world and just wonder whether we’ll ever see anyone like him again. Maybe that’s impossible because he was riding the wave of 60’s rock n’ roll but those childhood misadventures and hardship made Keith to some extent - even his teeth were a result of the childhood fear the NHS gave him of dentists. I’m not saying we should impoverish and terrorise children but I wonder if the hard men of rock, those that bring danger and mystery to the equation are a dying breed. Most likely, we’ll see a new type of rock n’ roll thug but I just don’t want to live in a world of Nickelbacks, I want rock music with soul, wit and danger. I want to feel that excitement and fear again…


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