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I must admit I picked this book up with just looking to distill the myth and legend against the man. Would it be honest? Would it bare all? Is it really a life worth reading about? Answer is yes, yes and yes.
This book is a revelation and for not just fans of the Rolling Stones but for anybody wanting to really know what iy was, is and will be like on the rollercoaster of life when you get plucked from relative obscurity to become a rock legend.
Brutally honest about himself and others. Noticeably none of his bandmates appear in the "thank you" section at the end. But he does talk a lot about relationship with Mick as a "sibling rivalry".
You can tell he see's himself as living a life of relevant disciplined dependencies compared to others he has travelled life with such as Ron Wood and Anita Pallenberg for example. The respect for Charlie Watts "jumps" from the pages.
But it is the wonderful narrative around the backroom people who helped make him, such as Ian Stewart, Jane Rose, Ronnie Spector, Bobby Keys and a cast of thousands. I loved the story of his courtship and marriage to Patti Hansen, remember never bring an acoustic guitar to your prospective in-laws thanksgiving.
He is living one hell of a life and underneath the honesty and humour is a driven man with a singular passion to music and an unbelievable strong moral code. If he trusts you, he will love you and that will be unwavering. But if you break that trust, watch out for the knife collection that he seems to as handy with a knife as a guitar.
Filled with wonderful vivid descriptions on the birth's of some of the great songs of the stones as well as all the births, death's, marriages of his personal circle. Also a remarkable frankness about the great loves of his life.
So there was no Mars Bar, yes he did snort his Fathers ashes (but it is a wonderful poignant paragraph) you will not be able to replicate Start Me Up, Jumping Jack Flash and a lot of other great riffs without taking the low E string off your guitar and adopting open tuning and the story of how the dog Rasputin came into his life will enable you to call every tattoo'd Rolling Stones roadie you meet "a big softie" from now on!
This is not a coffee table book, it is a page turner. The boy from Dartford knows how to tell his story. I finished this book with a lot of respect for Keith Richards and a hunger to listen to all the musical highlights referenced.
I have never seen the Rolling Stones live, but all I can say is after reading this book, I will be first in the online queue for ticket.
Book of the Year!!!