by Keith Richards

Reviewer Rating:


Every artist has a medium. Keith’s is the guitar. But what separates him, as an artist and as one of the most iconic guitarists of all time, is his ability to manipulate that medium. The guitar is so much more than a guitar when wielded by Keef – it’s a story telling machine.  And Life, Keef’s memoir, is proof positive that he is an amazing storyteller.  

I can’t articulate how great this book really is. Die-hard Rolling Stones fans will love the tales of the band’s ascension; guitar junkies will scramble to sample the one lick that has eluded Richards for 49 years (also, did you know he invented 5 string open G tuning?!?!); and romantics will swoon over the raspy, rambling, raucous detail that is ultimately a portrait of an artist.

Life captures the rhythm of Richard’s voice, and demonstrates how smart he really is (much more so than he lets on). I think too it illuminates the mystery surrounding Keith as a person – how is the guy still alive? How is he still coherent? How did he do so much with seemingly so little? – all questions that can be answered by the fact that he was almost always in control (even with his addictions, as weird as that sounds). That, I think, is the key to his success and longevity – he was careful never to roll out of control. You also get a peek underneath his popular irreverent and authority-bucking  persona, and get to know him as a sensitive, clever, caring family man and a huge lover of books (at one point he almost studied to become a librarian to manage his massive personal library!).

Finally, for fans of the audio book medium, the narration was nothing short of excellent. Richards himself, along with Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley, capture the rock ‘n’ roll spirit in their textured narration.


Really enjoyed this book. Amazed how much recall ol' Keith had after all these years. The man has had many more than nine lives and seems indestructible. The thing that comes through most is his absolute passion for music - not just his own but across all styles and genres. Would love to spend a dinner chatting with this guy!

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