Last Night

Last Night: Rock and Roll Memoir

By Chris Kissel November 5, 2010

Last night, I bought Keith Richards's new memoir.

I normally don't read rock 'n' roll books. I usually don't read autobiographies either. But I was flipping through the latest issue of Rolling Stone while I was waiting around at the doctor's office yesterday afternoon, and, unexpectedly, I got sucked into the cover story: Excerpts of Richards' new book, titled (badly) Life. The nascent Stones share a filthy one-room flat, spending their days copping and tweaking riffs from Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley; a decade later they're swinging from chandeliers and firing shotguns into hotel ceilings. Richards spills on the open-chord geneses of classics like "Gimme Shelter" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and describes guiltlessly stealing the girlfriend of bandmate Brian Jones while Jones was hospitalized in France.

There's also an article in the Rolling Stone on the Kings of Leon, sugarized neo-Stones who neither rock nor party as hard as the real Stones and whose latest record, Come Around Sundown, brings plastic rock and roll to the pinnacle of hollowness. All the more reason to get back into the Stones (needless to say, I don't think I'll be stopping in for the Matthew Followill autobiography any time soon).

I went and picked up the Richards book at Elliott Bay; I'm already 300 pages in.
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