When he first came before a judge in the 1960s, Keith Richards heard himself described as "a moron" and read newspaper headlines announcing UGLY LOOKS! UGLY SPEECH! UGLY MANNERS! Yet Richards's strangely flamboyant personality, filled with eccentricities and contradictions, suggested a more complex character than the "elegantly wasted" junkie who wrote and played the Rolling Stones' best-known songs. In an industry notorious for its high burnout rate, Keith Richards remains a legendary survivor. This candid look at the Rolling Stones legend is being published in conjunction with Richard's sixtieth birthday celebration. Keith Richards: Satisfaction looks at the career of a man who was as admired as he was feared. In this behind-the-scenes story, employing dozens of new sources, the author charts the life and music of the shy, half-educated boy from Dartford, the writer of pop classics like "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Ruby Tuesday," and "Brown Sugar"; the kohl-eyed drug addict slumped on his mattress throne at the Ritz Hotel, and the more recently contented family man who nonetheless continues to be rock's most indomitable living practitioner. It's a hard, fast, sometimes shocking saga of a flawed but wildly creative life.
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Christopher Sandford first met Keith Richards in 1977 and has reviewed and written about rock music for over twenty years. In April 1998 Rolling Stone called him 'the man who probably knows more about the Rolling Stones than anyone else'. His biography of Mick Jagger, published in 1993, is still in print and has been sold in 14 countries.From Publishers Weekly:
Having written books on Kurt Cobain, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Sting, among others, Sandford is no stranger to the rock bio and attacks his newest venture with skill and style. Despite limited access to "the Human Riff," Sandford taps into scores of sources to construct Richards's story. While his prose might be a little too English for some stateside readers ("Keith's hair was teased high as a guardsman's busby" might not resonate with everyone), Sandford does an expert job of capturing a complicated subject. Stones fans will cherish stories of the band coming together—such as when Richards met a bright young London School of Economics student named Mike Jagger—the genesis of their hits, bandmate Brian Jones's staggering self-destruction and their fateful Altamont performance. There's enough drugs, booze and sex to satisfy even the most lusty soul, with entertaining cameos from the likes of Clapton, the Beatles and Marianne Faithfull, the latter immersed in a tempestuous love triangle with the so-called Glimmer Twins. "Faithfull fell in love with Keith as she rejected Jagger's blundering sexual advances. Which he repeated with astonishing resilience," Sandford writes. "Only a day or two later Keith unselfishly confirmed what Marianne already knew. 'Mick's really stuck on you. Go on, luv, give him a bell. He's not so bad.' " While it's frequently difficult to tell who the author is quoting, his easy storytelling style and expert musical knowledge make for a satisfying read.
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