Life

  • by Keith Richards, James Fox
  • Narrated by Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley
  • 23 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

As lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the riffs, the lyrics, and the songs that roused the world. A true and towering original, he has always walked his own path, spoken his mind, and done things his own way.
Now at last, Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere. Dropping his guitar's sixth string to create a new sound that allowed him to create immortal riffs like those in "Honky Tonk Woman" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash". Falling in love with Anita Pallenberg, Brian Jones's girlfriend. Arrested and imprisoned for drug possession. Tax exile in France and recording Exile on Main Street. Ever-increasing fame, isolation, and addiction, making life an ever faster frenzy. Through it all, Richards remained devoted to the music of the band, until even that was challenged by Mick Jagger's attempt at a solo career, leading to a decade of conflicts and ultimately the biggest reunion tour in history.
In a voice that is uniquely and unmistakably him - part growl, part laugh - Keith Richards brings us the truest rock-and-roll life of our times, unfettered and fearless and true.
Read by Johnny Depp with Joe Hurley and featuring Keith Richards.

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What the Critics Say

"[A] high-def, high-velocity portrait of the era when rock 'n' roll came of age, a raw report from deep inside the counterculture maelstrom of how that music swept like a tsunami over Britain and the United States....Mr. Richards has found a way to channel to the reader his own avidity, his own deep soul hunger for music and to make us feel the connections that bind one generation of musicians to another. Along the way he even manages to communicate something of that magic, electromagnetic experience of playing on stage with his mates, be it in a little club or a huge stadium." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)
"[A] slurry romp through the life of a man who knew every pleasure, denied himself nothing, and never paid the price." (David Remnick, The New Yorker)
"A vivid self-portrait and, of the Stones and their musical era, a grand group portrait....spellbinding storytelling." (Richard Corliss, Time)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Ins and outs

To be put off by Johnny Depp's great intro or disappointed by Joe Hurley's almost perfect rendition of Keith Richard's voice is quite simply a linear reaction to a sea-full of Keith's unfiltered and lively experiences through the backdrop of the Rolling Stone's birth and growth.These guys lived and breathed that music which shaped our lives everyday during that period of time we were growing up.

If you were born between 1945 and 1955, then you will want to listen to this book so that you can come to terms with the tapestry of your life where all this music still exits and comes back as you hear Keith Richards explain where, when, and more importantly, WHY he created all those great songs.

Here's what you do : As you listen to the book,and begin the journey, every time a new song is mentioned, stop the book, go over to Youtube and listen to it done live by the Stones, then come back to the book. It will parallel your life and peg where you were at the time. Lots of fun and if music has always played an important part of your life, Keith's and Mick's songs will be inextricable adhered to the inside of your skull. It's in the total sum of who we are, right?

This book is a candid view into what propelled the greatest rock and roll band through the 60's, the 70's and some of the 80's and how the Rolling Stones are in part, responsible for the voice of rebellion, the cause for change and defined the freedom that we all yearned for or experienced during those tumultuous times. Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's because I've been a blues guitarist since 1960, but I would not want to imagine a world without this music in it. I mean, who wants to live without rock and roll, man?
This is not a book, this is a rock and roll history lesson.

If every time you hear "Satisfaction" you get that tingle inside of you that puts you back to that night, that party, that girl or guy, that vacation, that point that was DEFINED by this song, you're gonna want to listen to this book.
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- Jesse

Amazing Storytelling!

I originally planned to buy the hardcover the moment it hit stores - I'm a huge Stones fan. But I am really glad I heard about the audiobook, because Keith's storytelling really lends itself to the listenting experience. I'm only 4 hours in, but Johnny Depp's performance is pitch-perfect. He's never over the top - you feel like he really "gets" Keith in ways most people wouldn't. I also took a listen to Keith's part at the end and could really hear how passionate he is about telling his story - what an amazing life.

I'm absolutely certain I'll buy the hardcover to make my library complete, but I'm so glad I took the chance to hear it first. I think the amazing tales are going to stick with me a long time - what a privilege it is to get to hear the intimate, behind-the-scenes stories told by the one who really lived it. The bonus PDF of pictures is great as well - you feel like you're getting a peek into Keith's personal photo album.
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- Kim

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-26-2010
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio