Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mick v. Keef, Round Two

I finished Keith Richards' autobiography a couple of weeks ago with a mixture of wonder and mild nausea. The man is a musical giant and also an icon of rock and roll debauchery, a kind of crown prince of chemical misadventure. It turns out his memories of his travels through addictions to tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, loose women and who knows what else are remarkably clear. What's equally clear is that this is a man who regrets nothing, least of all his own regrettable attitudes toward women ("bitches"), gays ("poofters"), parenting (he made his young son his on-tour houseboy as he traversed the depths of heroin addiction), and even his musical other half and longtime frenemy Mick Jagger. Jagger, to his credit, has not responded publicly to the many jibes Richards throws his way in Life -- so a veteran rock journalist by the serendipitous name of Bill Wyman has done it for him, penning an absolutely brilliant imagined response by Sir Mick. This should really be required reading for anyone who completes Keef's winding, entertaining-when-not-horrifying, largely amoral and deeply self-serving tome.

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