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Keith Richards on life on the road (1974): “I can’t live without being on the road. Every minute spent off the road I either turn into an alcoholic or a junkie ’cause I’ve got nothing else to do. It’s just a waste of time. I can turn into anything: a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a psychedelic treat, a Jehovah’s Witness, a junkie – anything can happen ’cause I’m not doing that. That’s what I do. I mean, most people that do things at least have the opportunity of doing it pretty regularly. We’re in this unique, so they say, position of not being able to expose ourselves too much. So you’ve got these horrible extravagances of people saying, I don’t want to work this year. That’s why I did the album with Woody. I couldn’t stand it anymore. To write off a whole fucking year in one sentence is stupid.” life on the road
In 1974, Keith Richards, the legendary guitarist of the Rolling Stones, shared some profound insights into his life on the road. When asked about what he can’t live without, Richards paused for a moment, letting the weight of his experiences sink in. He then declared, “I can’t live without…” The ellipsis that follows leaves room for interpretation, as if Richards were hinting at a multitude of things necessary to sustain him on this adventurous journey. Perhaps he referred to the exhilarating rush of performing for thousands of fans night after night, the magnetic pull of the stage that fuels his spirit. Or maybe he spoke of the restless desire to explore new cities, cultures, and landscapes, forever seeking inspiration for their music. But beyond the surface-level thrills, it is possible that Richards was referring to the profound bond between him and his bandmates. The Rolling Stones, despite their undeniable talent and success, have always been anchored by an unbreakable brotherhood that has sustained them through thick and thin. The road, then, becomes more than just a physical journey; it becomes a metaphorical passage that strengthens the ties that bind them together. While the specifics of Keith Richards’ quote remain shrouded in ambiguity, one thing is crystal clear – life on the road for the Rolling Stones is a constantly evolving tapestry of emotions, experiences, and connections. It is the lifeblood of their art, the source of their creative energy, and the vehicle that transports their music to the farthest corners of the world.