Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I take back almost everything I said about the book by Keith Richards. I decided yesterday morning that I really needed to finish it.  So I brought it out to the couch in the living room and convinced the dog to sleep up on the couch with me. Such is my threat to the world.  I've reached the "Goats Head Soup", "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll" and "Black and Blue" era so I appropriately put those albums on in order.  Ron Wood joins the band.  This was the birth of The Rolling Stones that I knew.  

Aside from the book, as for Keith and the way his fans have always talked about him...

His fans do not seem to have genuine admiration for him. That's why there are so many endless jokes, even cruel ones.  They are able to enact their rock and roll fantasies through him and because of that they secretly despise him, even want him dead, but it's always done through the facade of jest. Even his talents are denigrated because to consider that he can act the way that he acts, escape punishment, and still be talented is too much for many people to accept. They want to be him but they can't stand him being him.

In the Mick/Keith dynamic most would imagine themselves to be the "Keith."  I've had several friends throughout my life describe themselves this way, strangely. By doing so it assumes the Mickness of the other: an either visible or invisible falseness, an unneeded pompousness, the classic front-man criticisms, etc.  But what could be more pompous than assuming you share recognizable qualities with Keith Richards? If anything it reveals a homo-eroticism that most people would recognize as much more of a Mick quality. So aligning yourself in your imagination with Keith makes you much more like Mick just by doing so.  

Nobody struggles with Iggy Pop in this same way.  Some people also want to be Pop but they don't seem to struggle with him being Iggy Pop.  Sure, jokes are made, but they don't seem to have the same dark source. I'm not sure what the difference is, or even if there really is one, or if it is all just another product of my imagination.

I blame Keef, of course.  That's the interesting part of him, how he becomes an all-purpose blame doll, and always has been. People need somebody that they can blame for their behavior, or someone who makes their behavior seem acceptable in comparison. Once they've put you in that role it is very difficult for them to allow you to be anything else.  It is an endless circular trap.

The bio is an interesting report of a time, of many times.  It is unfortunate to see Keith with the unquenchable need to bash Mick, and everybody else he's ever had issue with. There are only two types of people in Keith's world, the fun and good ones, and then the ones that are like Mick.  It gets tedious, much like drugs and drinking buddies do.  But the book is a lot of fun, even if it is just the collected ruminations of a bitter, old, once dynamically flawful man.