For this article a short review for Keith’s book “My Life” which came out it 2010.
First check the interview here for Keith’s motives why writing the book:
If you are new to Keith Richards and the Stones, this book will send you off to a journey of checking out all the Stones’s older songs.
If you are well-read upon the Stones and Keith Richards, the book will give you additional insights in particular issues such as “Death of Brian Jones” “Who is who on a lot of Stones Recordings?” “The Drug Years, and Why Keith actually got into using dope” “The Anita Pallenberg period” “The Magic of the Exile on Main Street Period” ect. ect.
If you do not fancy reading the whole book (almost over 600 pages) but are interested in the period where the Stones became the Stones what they are known for today skip to chapter 6 and 7 and you get the “Beggars Banquet years up and till Exhile on Main Street period”
Stangley enough —but not so strange really– you get nothing, absolutely nothing about “It’s only Rock and Roll” album. Just a mention about the single and that it was Mick’s idea with added riffs from Keith. No mention about any of the other songs and what went on during that time.
My feeling is, a lot of those songs were recorded during the “Ghost Head Soup” period, very similar sounding songs, very similar back-up musicians ~the usual Stones crew such as Billy Preston (organ and electric piano), Nicky Hopkins (keys) and Bobby Keys (horns)~
The keen Stones listener (just listen!!) will have noticed that a lot of songs come from similar periods: Songs were recorded over a period of time, because everyone was around, they were in the right location ect. ect. but a lot of those songs appeared on different albums which are sometimes years and years appart from each other.
You can find this out by listening and looking at the notes on the album. I agree, you need to know a bit about the Stones, their recording habits ect. but you can see it, also the music is quite similar in some cases.
An acception to this rule is “Some Girls” and again you can hear it: Album sounds fresh and new. It was a new period for the Stones: Ron Wood is now full time Stones member, and this album is his first full album he plays on. They used a new engineer, were recording in a new Studio ect. ect .
What is interesting to read is that “Start me Up” —from “Tattoo You” (1981) was first recorded during the “Some Girls” sessions in 1978, although the “Tattoo You” album does have a very,different, overal sound.
When you read the book you find out that friendships are quite important for Keith, it may well be one of the reasons why the man plays guitar in a band.
The book is full of pictures about his family, his children and of course, the Rolling Stones. Most of those Stones images you will have seen before, from other books or somewhere Online.
Maybe something you should check out?