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‘Keith Don’t Go’
Following the disbanding of his band Grin in 1974, American rock musician, recording artist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren (most remembered as a member of Neil Young’s Crazy Horse and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band) released his eponymous debut solo album the following year. A success with critics, the album was labeled it one of the finest rock records of the year in a 1975 review. “Keith Don’t Go (Ode to the Glimmer Twin)” finds him paying tribute to his hero Keith Richards.
As we know, Keith was having a very bad drug habit at the time and Nils didn’t want him to die, thus the song. This is Nils’ 1975 plea to his hero not to do himself in on drugs. Although the choice of quite a few American rock critics during the Stones’ “Great Guitarists Hunt” of 1975 Lofgren wasn’t even granted an audition. In 1977 Nils released a cover version of “Happy,” repeating the words he misheard on the Exle On main St. album and coming out with a version much more suggestive than the original. In March of the same year he amended his own lyrics, singing “to the town called Toronto” in “Keith Don’t Go,” thereby immortalizing Keith’s Canadian drug bust in concert and on his live album.
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