Keith Richards ‘Life’ documentary 2010
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BBC2 documentary to mark the release of Keith Richards’ autobiography ‘Life‘, 2010
Life is a memoir by the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, written with the assistance of journalist James Fox. Published in October 2010, in hardback, audio and e-book formats, the book chronicles Richards’ love of music, charting influences from his mother and maternal grandfather, through his discovery of blues music, the founding of the Rolling Stones, his often turbulent relationship with Mick Jagger, his involvement with drugs, and his relationships with women including Anita Pallenberg and his wife Patti Hansen. Richards also released Vintage Vinos, a compilation of his work with the X-Pensive Winos, at the same time.
It has been reported that publisher Little, Brown and Company paid an advance of $7.3 million, after seeing a ten-page extract. Co-writer James Fox interviewed Richards and his associates over a period of five years to produce the book. Life was generally well received by critics and topped The New York Times non-fiction list in the first week of release.
Life is a memoir covering Keith Richards’s life, starting with his childhood in Dartford, Kent, through to his success with the Rolling Stones and his current life in Connecticut. His interest in music was triggered by his mother, Doris, who played records by Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine and Louis Armstrong, and his maternal grandfather, Augustus Theodore Dupree, a former big band player, who encouraged him to take up the guitar. In his teens he met up with Mick Jagger, who he had known in primary school, and discovered that they both shared a love of blues music. In the early 1960s Richards moved into a London flat, shared with Jagger and Brian Jones. Together with Bill Wyman, Ian Stewart and Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones were founded in 1962, playing gigs at Ealing Jazz Club and the Crawdaddy Club.
The book chronicles Richards’s career with the Stones since 1962, following their rise from playing small club gigs to stadium concerts, Richards’s drug habits, his arrests and convictions. His relationships with a number of women, including Anita Pallenberg, Marianne Faithfull, Ronnie Spector and Patti Hansen, whom he married in 1983, are covered in detail. The often difficult partnership between Richards and Jagger is referred to throughout the work and coverage of this has caused much media interest.
Throughout the work, much attention is given to Richards’ love of music, his style of playing and chord construction. His non-Stones projects, such as the X-Pensive Winos and recording with the Wingless Angels in Jamaica, as well as collaborations with Chuck Berry and Gram Parsons amongst others are covered in some detail.
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