10 Things You Didn’t Know About Keith Richards

Things You Didn't Know About Keith Richards

Photo: ​​​​Bruce Alan Bennett / Shutterstock.com

Keith Richards was born on December 18, 1943, in Dartford, Kent. He grew up with his grandmother after his parents divorced. It is said that he learned guitar by watching Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley play and Buddy Holly’s music on television. At age 13, he begged his father for a guitar but had to wait until the time was right to impress him with some great playing skills first. He taught himself how to play by listening to records alone at home without any formal training or influence from others outside of the musicians found within his records. When Keith turned 15, his father bought him a pink paisley Fender Stratocaster (a popular American-made guitar), which he dreamed of owning for a long time.

The Rolling Stones formed shortly after Keith met his partner, Mick Jagger (who would become the band’s lead singer). At first, they called themselves The Rollin’ Stones to reference the song “Rollin’ Stone,” originally done by Muddy Waters and covered by others such as The Byrds and Bob Dylan before them. It wasn’t until two years later that they decided on the name ‘The Rolling Stones’, keeping with their theme of stones and naming their songs after various forms of currency: i.e., 50 Licks, 2120 South Michigan Avenue (Richards got this inspiration from seeing it on a building) and so on. They would record a total of 34 studio albums and some live releases, some of which would feature other prominent players such as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Ry Cooder.

Keith Richards is considered one of the greatest guitarists in the history of rock n’ roll. With their roots in blues, rock, and reggae music, the Rolling Stones are an icon of the 60s counterculture. After forming the band during the early 1960s at London’s Ealing Art College, which was attended by Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts (the latter becoming his musical partner), he went on to be inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and also the UK Music Hall of Fame. He has a net worth estimated at $340 million, thanks to his talents as a singer/songwriter/guitarist. If Keith Richards is your favorite artist, here are other 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Keith Richards:

1) He was an excellent student

Perhaps it’s not something he wants to broadcast to his fans; he prefers to be painted as a rock ‘n’ roller who lives by his own rules, but Keith Richards was an excellent student at school. According to Bill Wyman’s book Stone Alone, which features interviews with the former bassist about life in the band, Keith Richards got “mostly As and Bs” on his report card for classwork at Wentworth Primary School. His bad grade was in conduct (which he blamed on boredom). And while he left formal education after passing just two O-levels (a British secondary-level exam, now discontinued) in art and English language at the age of 16, a year earlier than his peers, Keith Richardswas awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Kent at Canterbury last October.

2) He once worked as a gravedigger

After dropping out of school, Keith Richards left his hometown to become a carpenter’s apprentice specializing in coffins. According to Wyman’s book, he took the job after being turned down for an apprenticeship as a plumber. It seems he didn’t much care for coffin-making. The book quotes him as saying: “I used to make coffins for dead people it wasn’t very rock ‘n’ roll.”

3) He’s Been Married To A Super Model

He married model Patti Hansen in 1984, with whom he co-wrote the song ‘Almost Hear You Sigh.’

4) He’s a grandfather now

Yes, Keith Richards has a grandchild! In 2011, Theodora Dupree Richards gave birth to a girl named Ella Rose Richards. The baby is the daughter of Marlon Richard Dupree, who also goes by Richards, and model Lucie de la Falaise (through whom she has joint British-American).

5) He used to date a Bond girl

That would be Diana Rigg, who, in addition to playing Mrs. Emma Peel on TV’s The Avengers, was also Keith Richards‘ girlfriend from 1969 to 1980. She’s the French actress who appeared in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service with George Lazenby and Live and Let Die with Roger Moore.  He gave her an engagement ring that she never wore because they split before he could pop the question.

6) He was one of the only musicians to not back down from Chuck Berry

Legendary rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry was known for bullying musicians on stage and off stage. In the great film Hail Hail Rock and Roll audiences were blown aways by the scene in which Chuck Berry started to give Keith Richards a hard time and Keith Richards just stared Chuck Berry down telling him how wrong he was in what he was trying to do. It’s one of the most captivating moments in that glorious rock and roll film

7) He will hang out with just your average fan all night long.

In the book Babysitting a Band on the Rocks, author G.D. Praetorius talks about how he met Keith Richards at a bar at a Caribbean Island and just hung out all night long drinking with him talking about life. They sat by the pool having a great time like they were old buddies when they had just actually met that night.

8) Don’t mess with him on stage

As Chuck Berry found out, any musician who performs with Keith Richards on stage knows that they need to respect the stage as Holy Ground. Ron Wood has claimed that if he plays a solo too long, he will start to get the evil stare. Even Elton John once said that he knows he overstayed his welcome once onstage with the Rolling Stones when he saw Keith Richards giving him that “it’s time to go stare.”

9) He had worked often with Tom Waits

Keith Richards has worked with the great Tom Waits on three of Tom Waits studio albums. Keith Richards has appeared on the albums Rain Dogs, Bone Machine, and Bad To Me playing guitar and adding backing vocals on various tracks. There is just something about Tom Waits and Keith Richards working together that makes a lot of sense.

10) Keith Richards dreams about being a Librarian.

The headline may be funny, but it makes sense in so many ways. Songwriters are by nature curious human beings with a zest for life and a yearning to live and learn. Keith Richards has always been a fan of history and has a huge book collection. In an article in the London Times that came out in 2010, Keith Richards stated that he would love to be a librarian one day.

 

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