Keith Richard


About

Born
December 18, 1943

Biography

One of the most influential and notorious figures in rock 'n' roll history and culture, Keith Richards was the guitarist and founding member of the British rock band the Rolling Stones. With the group's lead singer, Mick Jagger, Richards blended the British Invasion's incessant beat with a love of American blues, country and R&B to write songs that would become classics, including "(I Ca...

Biography

One of the most influential and notorious figures in rock 'n' roll history and culture, Keith Richards was the guitarist and founding member of the British rock band the Rolling Stones. With the group's lead singer, Mick Jagger, Richards blended the British Invasion's incessant beat with a love of American blues, country and R&B to write songs that would become classics, including "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Sympathy for the Devil," "You Can't Always Get What You Want," "Start Me Up," and dozens of others during the band's 50-plus-year history. Offstage, Richards' swaggering presence and offbeat style, as well as his seemingly indestructible nature in the face of rampant drug and alcohol abuse, made him a target of anti-rock crusaders and comics, as well as a portrait of effortless cool for countless aspiring musicians and fans.

Born Dec. 18, 1943, in Dartford, Kent, England, Richards came from a musical family: his maternal grandfather, Augustus Theodore Dupree, was a jazz player, and Richards' mother, Doris Dupree, passed along her love of American jazz and blues singers to her son. He met Jagger in 1951 while both were attending primary school, but the pair would be separated shortly thereafter, not meeting again for almost a decade. During that time, Richards' love for music began to dominate his interests; he sang in a choir that performed for Queen Elizabeth II, and got a head start on guitar with the help of his grandfather. His teenage years brought on a healthy dose of rebellious attitude, which earned him an expulsion from school, and he was sent to Sidcup Art School in the hopes that his energy could be channeled into creative outlets. While there, he met fellow future rock star Dick Taylor of the Pretty Things, who was in a band with Jagger. The duo became fast friends again, and Richards joined the outfit, which soon became the original line-up of the Rolling Stones. Added to the mix was jazz-influenced drummer Charlie Watts, blues fanatic Bill Wyman, talented pianist Ian Stewart, and Richards' mysterious flatmate, Brian Jones.

Initially, the Stones were a cover band, playing revved-up versions of American blues songs by Muddy Waters, Little Walter, and Howlin' Wolf, but Jagger and Richards were fans of early rock & roll artists like Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, and especially Chuck Berry, whose fluid, jazzy style would be a huge influence on Richards throughout his career. After catching a show in London, the Beatles encouraged Decca Records to sign the Stones, with Andrew Loog Oldham was brought on board to manage the group and craft them into a pop act. Among his first decisions were firing the portly Stewart for being less than photogenic (he became the band's road manager until his death in 1983), and having Richards drop the "s" from his name to emulate chart-topping pop singer Cliff Richard. Under Oldham's influence, Richards and the Stones began touring with American acts like Ike and Tina Turner, the Ronettes, and Little Richard, who influenced the fledgling band; Richards and Jagger also began writing their own material, which resulted in several No. 1 songs, including "The Last Time," "Satisfaction," and numerous others. By the mid-'60s, Richards and the Stones had melded into a tough, streetwise alternative to the Beatles, thanks to Jagger's aggressively sexual stage persona and Richards' stinging, blues-based guitar.

In 1967, Jagger and Richards were arrested on drug charges at Richards' estate. Richards was convicted and sentenced to a year in prison, but global public outcry - with help from the very influential Beatles - led to the charges being reversed. The turmoil in Richards' life was not restricted to the public scene; he had recently become involved with model/actress/scenester Anita Pallenberg, who was the girlfriend of the increasingly drug-addled Jones. With her, Richards fathered two children, Marlon and Angela, in 1968 and 1972 respectively. The couple would remain together for the next 12 years (though they would never marry), and would have one more child, a son named Tara, who would tragically die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1976.

The accidental death of Jones in 1969 stripped away the last vestiges of pop sheen from the Stones, who delved wholly into their outlaw image, both on record and in their private lives. Musically, the band seemed unstoppable, with record after record generating critical laurels and hit songs. Albums like Beggars Banquet, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street saw the group experimenting with American country and soul styles, and Jagger and Richards' compositions were deeper and most substantial in their understanding of the outsider mindset and the current social scene. Offstage, however, Richards was sinking into a serious heroin addiction, one that would place him in serious legal jeopardy on several occasions and affect the band's ability to generate income by recording and playing live. His drug problems also curtailed an early attempt at a solo album, from which only the holiday single (and Chuck Berry cover) "Run, Run Rudolph" saw the light of day.

In 1977, Richards was arrested for possession of heroin in Toronto and charged with importing narcotics into the country, which carried a minimum sentence of seven years. The seriousness of the charge led Richards to seek treatment for his addiction, which he eventually beat. (Rumors of his needing a complete blood transfusion were untrue and simply part of the growing list of urban myths surrounding Richards' astonishing drug appetite.) In 1979, Richards cleared his name with the Canadian courts by playing two benefit concerts there, both with the Rolling Stones and with The New Barbarians, a side project with Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood. With Richards' return to health came a renewed vigor for the Rolling Stones as well. Their 1978 offering Some Girls yielded the group's first No. 1 song in several years, "Miss You." In 1979, Richards met model Patti Hansen, whom he married in 1983. They had two daughters, Theodora and Alexandra, both of whom followed in their mother's footsteps as models.

By the mid-80s, however, long-simmering tensions between Jagger and Richards over the direction of the Rolling Stones lead to a very public feud. Jagger refused to tour behind the band's 1986 album, Dirty Work, so he could work on his solo debut. Richards retreated to the studio, where he focused his anger into his own solo record, Talk is Cheap, which was released in 1988. A tough and brawny album full of classic Stones grooves and sharp songwriting - much of which consisted of none-too-veiled shots at Jagger - Richards scored a substantial hit and toured behind the CD for the next three years. Richards also paid tribute to his longtime hero Chuck Berry by fronting an all-star house band and producing a live concert for the venerable rock legend. Slowly but surely, public opinion began to sway towards Richards as the true heart of the Rolling Stones as well as a champion for roots-based rock.

Perhaps sensing this changing of the guard, Jagger returned to the fold in 1989 for Steel Wheels. Though not a particularly notable album in the group's history, it did signal the return of the band as a formidable touring act. Indeed, the group would consistently draw top dollar for the next two decades from its live performances, while its recorded output was hit-and-miss at best. Regardless of public opinion and declining chart hits, the band was now an institution, which was solidified in 1989 with their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. By the 1990s, Richards was fully entrenched in the business of co-piloting the Rolling Stones. He released a second solo album, Main Offender, in 1992, but it did less business than its predecessor. He was a frequent guest on numerous albums by other artists, ranging from Toots and the Maytals to Tom Waits, but the core of his day-to-day remained with the Stones. The band continued to tour and release CDs, though Richards occasionally flirted with the notion of returning to his solo career in interviews.

In 2006, Richards once again defied death by recovering from a head injury in Fiji - accounts of the incident varied from Richards falling out of a coconut tree to his driving a Skee-Doo into a tree - and subsequent brain surgery. The following year, he raised eyebrows by allegedly suggesting that he had snorted his father's cremated remains (he passed off the statement as a joke in subsequent interviews). And in the same year, he made his acting debut in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (2007) as the pirate father of Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow. Depp had publicly and famously acknowledged that he had based his beloved character on Richards' unsteady, drawling speech and manner, so the casting was nothing short of a coup. Richards repeated the role in the third film in the franchise, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (2011). His 2010 autobiography Life was both well-reviewed and a best seller. In 2012, the Rolling Stones celebrated fifty years as a band with a singles compilation that featured the new song "Doom and Gloom," widely hailed as their strongest new song in over two decades.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun, Hyde Park Live' (2013)
Himself
Muscle Shoals (2013)
Himself
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
The Love We Make (2011)
Himself
Shine a Light (2008)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
Make it Funky (2005)
Himself
Can't You Hear the Wind Howl? (1997)
The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1995)
At The Max (1991)
Himself
Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll! (1987)
Himself
Let's Spend the Night Together (1983)
Himself
The Kids Are Alright (1979)
Himself
Rod Stewart & Faces & Keith Richard (1975)
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones (1974)
Guitarist; Vocalist
Superstars in Film Concert (1971)
Rolling Stones Band Member
Gimme Shelter (1970)

Producer (Feature Film)

Shine a Light (2008)
Executive Producer

Music (Feature Film)

Last Christmas (2019)
Song
Knives Out (2019)
Song
Ferdinand (2017)
Song
All the Money in the World (2017)
Song
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017)
Song
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Song
A Bigger Splash (2016)
Song
Suicide Squad (2016)
Song
Minions (2015)
Song
Focus (2015)
Song
Joy (2015)
Song
Ricki and the Flash (2015)
Song
Entourage (2015)
Song
Black Mass (2015)
Song
Aloha (2015)
Song
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
Song
The Last Witch Hunter (2015)
Song
A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
Song
Pain & Gain (2013)
Song
Grudge Match (2013)
Song
Red 2 (2013)
Song
White House Down (2013)
Song
Men in Black III (2012)
Song
Flight (2012)
Song
Argo (2012)
Song
The Green Hornet (2011)
Song
The Music Never Stopped (2011)
Song
The Fighter (2010)
Song
Get Him to the Greek (2010)
Song
The Bounty Hunter (2010)
Song
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Song
Adventureland (2009)
Song
Pirate Radio (2009)
Song
The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Song
21 (2008)
Song
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Song
Fred Claus (2007)
Song
Music Within (2007)
Song
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
Song
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
Song Performer
The Hoax (2006)
Song
V for Vendetta (2006)
Song
Children of Men (2006)
Song
The Departed (2006)
Song
Layer Cake (2005)
Song
Without a Paddle (2004)
Song
Beyond the Sea (2004)
Song
Out of Time (2003)
Song
S.W.A.T. (2003)
Song
Anger Management (2003)
Song
Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
Song
Moonlight Mile (2002)
Song
Life or Something Like It (2002)
Song
We Were the Mulvaneys (2002)
Song
Spy Game (2001)
Song ("Can'T You Hear Me Knocking")
Vanilla Sky (2001)
Song
Blow (2001)
Song
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Song
Red Planet (2000)
Song
The Way of the Gun (2000)
Song
The Family Man (2000)
Song
Cruel Intentions (1999)
Song
The Other Sister (1999)
Song
Stir of Echoes (1999)
Song
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Song
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Song
Rushmore (1998)
Song
Fallen (1998)
Song ("Sympathy For The Devil")
Welcome to Sarajevo (1997)
Song ("Waiting On A Friend")
The Devil's Advocate (1997)
Song
The Boxer (1997)
Song
Michael (1996)
Song
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Song
The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1995)
Song
Nine Months (1995)
Song ("19th Nervous Breakdown")
Getting Even With Dad (1994)
Song
Leolo (1992)
Music Composer ("You Can'T Always Get What You Want")
At The Max (1991)
Song
Goodfellas (1990)
Song
Air America (1990)
Song
Flashback (1990)
Song
State Of Grace (1990)
Song
Alien Nation (1988)
Song
U2 Rattle and Hum (1988)
Songs ("Sympathy For The Devil" "Ruby Tuesday")
Satisfaction (1988)
Song
Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll! (1987)
Music
Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1987)
Song
Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll! (1987)
Music Producer
Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
Song
At Close Range (1986)
Song
Playing for Keeps (1986)
Song ("Jumpin' Jack Flash")
Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)
Song
Starman (1984)
Song
Christine (1983)
Song
The Big Chill (1983)
Song
Let's Spend the Night Together (1983)
Song
Shoot the Moon (1982)
Song
Die Heartbreakers (1982)
Song ("Satisfaction")
Night Shift (1982)
Song
The Entity (1982)
Song
Remembrance (1981)
Song
Nighthawks (1981)
Song
Melvin and Howard (1980)
Song
A Small Circle Of Friends (1980)
Song
Divine Madness (1980)
Song
Radio On (1979)
Song ("Satisfaction")
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Song
When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? (1979)
Song
Coming Home (1978)
Song
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1973)
Music
The Woman's Film (1971)
Composer
Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
Composer
Superstars in Film Concert (1971)
Song ("Have You Seen Your Mother Baby")
Performance (1970)
Composer
Gimme Shelter (1970)
Composer
It's Your Thing (1970)
Composer
Zabriskie Point (1970)
Composer
Sympathy for the Devil (1 + 1) (1969)
Composer
Popcorn; An Audio/Visual Rock Thing (1969)
Composer
Monterey Pop (1969)
Composer
The Big T.N.T. Show (1966)
Composer
Made in U.S.A. (1966)
Song

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

The Love We Make (2011)
Other
Make it Funky (2005)
Other
Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll! (1987)
Other
The Kids Are Alright (1979)
Other

Cast (Special)

Willie Nelson & Friends: Outlaws And Angels (2004)
Performer
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony 2004 (2004)
Rolling Stones: Live from Madison Garden (2003)
Eric Clapton: Standing at the Crossroads (2001)
Buddy Holly (2001)
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum: 16th Annual Induction Ceremony (2001)
Performer
100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll (2000)
The Beatles Revolution (2000)
Interviewee
American Express Brings You Central Park in Blue (1999)
A Tribute to Muddy Waters, King of the Blues (1999)
Where It's At: The Rolling Stone State of the Union (1998)
The Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon 1998 (1998)
1997 American Music Awards (1997)
Performer
The Year in Rock 1997 (1997)
Interviewee
VH1 97 Fashion Awards (1997)
Performer
Aretha Franklin: Going Home (1995)
George Jones: The Bradley Barn Sessions (1995)
Conversations With the Rolling Stones (1994)
The Atlantic Records Story (1994)
Hoodoo U Voodoo: The Rolling Stones Live (1994)
The Rolling Stones: A Musical History (1993)
Continuing Adventures of The Rolling Stones: 25X5 (1993)
Rolling Stone 25: The MTV Special (1992)
Hard Rock Cafe New Year's Eve Special (1992)
Rolling Stones: Terrifying (1989)
The 1st International Rock Awards (1989)
Performer
Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary: It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (1988)
Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul (1988)
The Real Buddy Holly Story (1986)

Producer (Special)

Crossfire Hurricane (2012)
Executive Producer

Music (Special)

Hoodoo U Voodoo: The Rolling Stones Live (1994)
Song Performer
Hoodoo U Voodoo: The Rolling Stones Live (1994)
Music
Rolling Stones: Terrifying (1989)
Song Performer
Rolling Stones: Terrifying (1989)
Guitarist

Life Events

1962

Forms The Rolling Stones with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones

1965

First major international hit single with "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

1988

During feud with Jagger, forms side project The X-Pensive Winos and releases first solo album, <i>Talk Is Cheap</i>

2007

Appears in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" as Captain Teague, the father of Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow.

2010

Publishes acclaimed autobiography, <i>Life</i>

2011

Reprised role of Captain Teague, Jack Sparow's father, in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"

Videos

Movie Clip

Performance (1970) - Memo From Turner Mick Jagger with his band wrote and recorded this number for his character "Turner," who dresses down the gangsters (Anthony Morton, John Bindon et al) in a scene occurring in the mind of Chas (James Fox) from Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell's Performance, 1970.
Gimme Shelter (1970) - Wild Horses In Sheffield, Alabama, December 1969 at the Muscle Shoals studio, with engineer Jimmy Johnson, the Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Mick Taylor) listen to the mix of their just-recorded original song, in the Maysles Brothers documentary Gimme Shelter, 1970.
Gimme Shelter (1970) - Greatest Rock'n'Roll Band In The World The opening from directors Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, with Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts horsing around in Birmingham, England on a photo shoot, then joining the Rolling Stones at their Madison Square Garden concert, with a Jagger-Richard composition, in Gimme Shelter, 1970.
Gimme Shelter (1970) - Are You Any More Satisfied? First from the New York concert, then working on the documentary with the Maysles brothers, then Mick Jagger at a press conference, celebrity lawyer Melvin Belli negotiating for the concert, and the Rolling Stones at a Holiday Inn in Sheffield, Alabama, December 1969, in Gimme Shelter, 1970.
Gimme Shelter (1970) - Six Days On The Road Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead tour manager Sam Cutler issuing thanks and seeking order at the Altamont Speedway in Tracy, California, December 6, 1969, as the Flying Burrito Brothers perform, one of their popular covers, before things went wrong, in the documentary Gimme Shelter, 1970.
Made In U.S.A. (1966) - As Tears Go By More in the bar scene, as it emerges that the girl in the back is pop songstress Marianne Faithfull, offering her first hit, co-written by her Rolling Stone not-yet boyfriend Mick Jagger, heroine Paula (Anna Karina) among the listeners, in Jean-Luc Godard's Made In U.S.A., 1966.
Let's Spend The Night Together - Under My Thumb Bang up opening, 20 cameras at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, as director Hal Ashby captures the start of the Rolling Stones concert, with Under My Thumb, in Let's Spend The Night Together, 1982.
Let's Spend The Night Together - Time Is On My Side Maybe a bit literal, but director Hal Ashby choses to do the montage of band history during Time Is On My Side, as the Rolling Stones perform in Let's Spend The Night Together, 1982.

Trailer

Bibliography