Totally made-up quotes from Keith Richards's "Life"

After a long hiatus, I finally finished reading it. And I can’t believe the ecstatic reviews it got, if for no other reason than it was one of the most poorly edited books I think I’ve ever read.

I mean, I know Keith is a space cadet supreme, but when he makes a blanket statement on one page and then says something to the contrary on the next page, couldn’t someone have said, “Um, Keith, about your claim to have never done such-and-such ever, ever, ever again on page 313. Look, mate, you’ve gone and said something completely different on page 314. Perhaps we should reconcile that little inconsistency, what do you say?”

But no. Well, that’s OK—you don’t need to read it anyway. I’ve made up the quotes below to spare you 500+ pages of lurid drudgery. Read these, and you’ve pretty much got the measure of the man:


“OK, so you’re pregnant, but what’s that got to do with me? I’ve got a bloody tour to go on.”

“I suppose I did get a bit violent, but no one slags off Chuck Berry in front of me. Unless it’s me.”


“And I never touched it again, discounting most of the period between Exile and Some Girls.”

“Some people might see it as cruel treatment for a five-year-old, but if you want to be considered my son, you’ve gotta earn it, whether it be by telling your mum that I’m moving out, negotiating with my smack dealer, or overdubbing the guitar part on Heartbreaker.”

“She was my soulmate and I loved her dearly, but I had a bloody tour to go on. And after that, well, it’s a big world, and I can’t be expected to remember where I left a woman four months ago, can I?”

“So he died, poor little bugger, but he couldn’t really hack it outside the womb, I suppose. There’s a lesson for you.”

“When I’m working, I can go hours on end, even days. So any discussion of whether I was ‘conscious’ or not, or whether I actually ‘showed up’ or not, well, that’s all just a smokescreen, innit?”

“But what it all comes down to is that Mick’s my best mate, my lifetime pal, someone I’d do anything for. But even with people like that, you gotta be in the mood to return their phone calls, haven’t you? And so what if six months went by?”

“If it wasn’t pharmaceutical grade, I personally wouldn’t touch it. Now, my nostrils and my veins, I can’t speak for them. They’re going to do what they’re going to do. And they’re the ones what got me in such trouble.”

“Oh, yeah? We’ll see who’s got the better lawyer come sentencing time, pal.”