|Keith Richards, Rolling Stone, recovering addict,|
chain smoker, general hard ass and quite possibly the
man destined to be the sole survivor of a future Apocalypse.
|Portrait of the artist as a young man|
Was there ever a man who looked like a less likely candidate to still be alive than Keith Richards, the iconic and apparently indefatigable lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones? Nope. Don't think so. Just look at him, for God's sake. Go on. Take a good, hard look (DON'T BLINK) and then tell us if this is the face of a man who should still be walking around, smoking fags and chatting up women. Of course it isn't. And, yet, inexplicably, it is. Because while some of the most famous and influential performers in rock and roll have succumbed to tragically early deaths as a result of drug use, alcohol abuse, car crashes, plane crashes, gunshots, stabbings, suicide, and illness, Keith Richards, the man who did so much heroin that his teeth turned black and whose legendary drinking binges have produced so much vomit over the years that his DNA is probably ingrained in hotel room floors and concert stage floorboards all across the world, still lives and thrives. Not only is he still kicking inimitable ass on guitar, he's become a best selling author since his memoir, Life came out last year to great accolades and stadium-sized interest from Stones fans who learned, among other things, that a certain crucial appendage connected to Keith's anatomy is vastly superior in size to that of Stones front man Mick Jagger. We, personally, are not surprised, having once seen Mick Jagger and former girlfriend Geri Hall in close proximity while walking in Manhattan and finding ourselves astounded by the disparity in their height. And they were both wearing heels. (It was the mid-eighties.) Not to mention that strutting cock walk, Napoleon-complex shtick that Mick has made his trademark on stage.
|Before they let it bleed: former couple Geri and Mick|
|The five original Stones with the late Brian Jones|
|21st century grottie|
|Keith and former muse Anita Pallenberg|
|Oh, Anita, what a drag it is getting old!|
Of course, in terms of romance, Keith's most famous relationship was with German/Italian muse-at-large and fellow heroin addict, Anita Pallenberg, who left Brian Jones for him (she claims that Jones was beating her, Keith walked in on it, grabbed her and took her home with him), giving new meaning to the old adage, "Leave no stone unturned." As far as the aging process goes, Anita and Keith seem to be pretty much neck-in-neck (pun intended). Decades of decadence have etched deep lines into the former hippie chick's face and erased that rock and roll muse mystique that made her the go-to girl when it came time for the two most talented Stones to get their ya-ya's out. But even gray-haired and wrinkled, she can't compete with the crevices that have taken over Keith's face so completely that it's almost impossible to imagine him as the sexy, lean, fag-hanging-rakishly-from-his-lips, too cool for words, born-to-play-rock-and-roll young guitar god that he once was. And yet the man who seemed destined to become the president of the "27 Club"before we even knew there was going to be a "27 Club" still possesses that innate Keithness which has kept him relevant all these years despite the decreasing relevance of the Stones themselves. Don't ask us to define it. We can't. We just know it's there. And although we may marvel at the fact that Keith Richards still walks among us, we find the fact strangely inspiring somehow. Because if Keith Richards still lives and breathes and eats and drinks and plays guitar and travels the globe with and without the Stones, well, it just proves that anything is possible. Skol.
|Mr. Keith Richards...|
|A hard ass for the ages|