December 18, 2018
Keith Richards, a guitarist and founding member of the Rolling Stones, turns 75 Tuesday. The British musician life has blessed his audience with his music and shown his complexity with his words. In celebration of his 75 years, take a look at some of his more popular quotes, including many on his infamous drug use, music and the Stones:
On his 75th birthday, a look at Keith Richards outlandish, quirky quotes over the years
On drugs:
Richards was known for his use of drugs and wild rock star lifestyle. He even referred to cocaine and heroin as "The breakfast of champions." But in this Life quote, he says it wasn't the drugs that caused him problems. "I've never had a problem with drugs. I've had problems with the police."
The guitar player didn't even think of himself as under the influence: “I never thought I was wasted, but I probably was.”
Richards was inspiration for Johnny Depp's character Captain Jack Sparrow in the film "Pirates of the Caribbean." Richards later played the role of Sparrow's father in the third film and gave Depp some advice about how to walk around a corner drunk. "You keep your back to the wall at all times."
In the book Life, Richards said Beetles singer John Lennon could never "keep up" with him when they took drugs together. "I don’t think John ever left my house, except horizontally."
The drug use had Richards thinking about death and wondering where he would end up. "I’m not putting death on the agenda. I don’t want to see my old friend Lucifer just yet. He’s the guy I’m gonna see, isn’t it? I’m not going to the Other Place, let’s face it," he said in 2010.
The same year, Richards said he finally quit using hard drugs. "I’ve given up everything now - which is a trip in itself."
On music:
"Rock and Roll: Music for the neck downwards." This is how Richards described the popular music genre in the 2005 book Rock & Roll Facts, Figures & Fun.
A 1986 interview with Chris Spedding led to this quote: "To make a rock'n'roll record, technology is the least important thing." Richards said the Rolling Stones would sound terrible if too much technology is involved.
"I've always been suspicious of TV, I've always found music and video to be an unhappy marriage," he said in Keith Richards. The rockstar said TV distracted from good music saying it became about what looked good rather than what sounded good.
On Rolling Stones bandmate, Mick Jagger:
"The only things Mick and I disagree about is the band, the music and what we do." Richards and lead singer Mick Jagger shared a bumpy bromance over the years. The two didn't always agree, but the friendship still lasted for decades.
Despite the criticism, Richards revealed he missed his friend. “I used to love Mick, but I haven’t been to his dressing room in 20 years. Sometimes I think: 'I miss my friend.’ I wonder: 'Where did he go?”
And on authority:
"If you're going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use two feet." -- a line from Richards' memoir, Life in 2010.
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