So about ten days ago, I was in Barnes and Noble, looking for something worth reading in the bargain books section. And there, smiling up at me with a wonderful, sheepish grin, was Keith Richards, (#photosIwishI'dtaken, back jacket photo by Deborah Feingold)... irresistible. Naughty, naughty, but who's going to tell him off now? (The book in question: "Life", Keith Richards with James Fox, published by Little, Brown and Company. The hardback version was in the bargain section at $6.99 while the paperback was on full display at full price. I never understand how that works.)
Reading it over several days, there were times I had to put the book down, and just walk away. It's like watching a wrecking ball cleaving a path through a planet, debris and destruction on either side, and then someone else pops off to the next world, and then another, then some more naughtiness, "it just seemed to happen!", another friend lost, then another... yet all the time this strong, almost inhuman drive to make the music, understand the music, grow the music, play the music, share the music. I had to put the book down and walk away, because it brought back memories of people and places and things that I thought long-forgotten, so much so that I really just wanted to reach through the book and slap and shake him, hey Keith, really????? "I'm clean just a bottle or two of Jack and some this and some that, it's good to be clean" sort-of-thing and you know he believes it and, heck, he has survived. And continued to make the music. Who am I to judge.
I still want to slap him.
So Keith's Life read, nothing else to read in this house-full-of-books, so off to Barnes and Noble again this weekend.
And, surprise, another British musician's biography in the bargain book section.
(Can then do that through my iPhone now? Rearrange bookshops based on prior purchases/listening preferences/iTunes/country-of-origin-what-the-heck-cyberspying? Or is it just paranoia creeping in?) Anyway, this one was another Life, Paul McCartney's Life, "A Life", (another Life?), by Peter Ames Carlin.
I was ready to read a Life with a little less calamity.
What I got was Miss Goody Two-Shoes school report. Seriously. Really. I'm on chapter three... or rather, almost beginning chapter three, and it's just as thrilling as reading someone-else's kid's school report. It's even written in the same way that British teachers used to write when I was at school. My school reports were good but heck I'm not going to publish them. I will persevere a little further, but it's going to be tough...
And there's the problem. Keith Richards, despite it all, is still one of the most attractive, endearing, enchanting human beings on this planet. And he's just so darn passionate about the things he does. No matter if they are "right", or "wrong".
Beatles or Stones? You really need to ask?