Keith Richards: The Biography

Victor Bockris, Author
Victor Bockris, Author Simon & Schuster $24 (416p) ISBN 978-0-671-70061-4
Reviewed on: 08/03/1992
Release date: 08/01/1992
Paperback - 415 pages - 978-0-671-87590-9
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-306-80815-9
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Although this sympathetic portrait doesn't tell fans much they don't already know about Rolling Stones guitarist Richards, it is a diverting addition to the rock-bio genre. Bockris ( The Life and Death of Andy Warhol ) relies heavily on secondhand excerpts from Stones interviews, books and criticism, stringing together quotes and recollections with minimal narration. We hear from Richards's former lover, Anita Pallenberg; critics Chet Flippo, Nik Cohn and Albert Goldman; and Mick Jagger's old flame Marianne Faithfull, who believes that Richards's drug problems stemmed partly from guilt over the 1969 ousting of Stones guitarist Brian Jones, who drowned in his swimming pool two weeks later. Richards himself speaks about Jagger and other band members, tensions within the band, songwriting (his favorite is ``Jumpin' Jack Flash'') and substance abuse. Bockris doesn't skimp on tales of his subject's aggression and heroin addiction, yet he also chooses anecdotes that emphasize the sincerity and amiability behind the musician's fierce stance. Richards emerges as more a tortured artist than a junkie, more a generous party-lover than a materialistic star in this well-organized, complimentary biography. Photos. (Sept.)
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