Keith Richards is a doting grandfather & he remembers to take out the garbage

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Several months ago, Keith Richards did a series of hilarious interviews on behalf of his latest solo album, Crosseyed Heart. Keith has been rich and famous for so many years, so he knows everyone and he’s probably gotten high with 75% of the music industry. While Keith’s thoughts on the state of music in the ‘60s and in today’s world were very interesting, I was also fascinated by the fact that Keith has truly survived so much and he’s come out as a somewhat healthy and happy 71-year-old dude. He doesn’t do hard drugs anymore, but he still likes to smoke a little weed. He loves his wife, he loves his son, he loves his grandchildren. He loves the work. We should all be so lucky, you know? Anyway, Keith gave an interview to GQ as part of their Men of the Year feature, and it’s a great piece. Some highlights:

He’s not interested in crowds of screaming girls: “I had enough of the screaming Mimis many years ago. But it was an interesting period, you’ve gotta say: 3,000 rabid females trying to tear your clothes off. But I can’t handle 3,000 at once.”

He only has a solo career because of Mick Jagger: “I only did my records because [Mick] wasn’t working with us,” he says. Mick’s hiatus from the Stones obviously rankles still. “[Jagger's solo work] had something to do with ego. He really had nothing to say. What did he have, two albums? She’s the Boss and Primitive Cool?… Have you listened to any of those records? … Nor have I. I’ll leave it at that. For me, I never thought of making records as a way of being famous or making a statement. I just want to make good records with good musicians, to play with the best and learn.”

His public caricature of a heroin-addict & drunk: “I guess it makes me chuckle in a way, to have this sort of split thing where on the one hand I’m just a musician who makes records, but I’ve also got this cartoon character, this extra guy riding around with me. In fact, I talk to him occasionally.”

The “We need to start worrying about what sort of world we are going to leave for Keith Richards” meme: “How kind of them. But you know, I’m not particularly that old. If I was 90 or a hundred, I would understand. To me, of course, it’s amusing, people think I’m every day—” He cycles through a dope-spree pantomime: smoking, snorting, needle-plunging. “People would be surprised how banal and usual and normal my life at home is. I take out the garbage. I feed the dogs. I bring up the kids.”

His son Marlon: “Of course it was hard on him, growing up like Gypsies, outlaws, nomads. No education. On the road. It’s amazing what kids can adapt to. It all comes out in the wash. And anyway, we didn’t really do anything that wrong. I mean, he could have grown up the son of health-nut freaks.”

He loves his three grandkids: “I don’t care how cool and hip and whatever you think you are. You get down the line, baby, what counts is family. This is what I did it for.”

He really did snort his father’s ashes: “Yes! I had him in a box in England. I bought this little oak sapling, my idea being that he was gonna fertilize the tree, but when I pulled the top off of the box, wafts of Dad landed on the table. And my dad knows I’d always liked my cocaine, a snort here and there. So I just… and had a line of Dad.”

What he’d like done with his own remains: “I suppose I’ll leave everyone a straw.”

[From GQ]

Keith Richards, family man. Keith Richards, doting grandfather. Keith Richards, the guy who remembers to take out the trash. Do you believe it? I kind of do. I mean, who’s to say that the guy didn’t fry his brain long ago? But what’s left is still pretty interesting. He’s clever and bitchy and funny. And he probably adores his grandkids. Grandpa Keith is probably the one handing out candy bars and telling them to jump higher on the trampoline.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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16 Responses to “Keith Richards is a doting grandfather & he remembers to take out the garbage”

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  1. Tash says:

    I still chuckle at “the snorting my Dad” story. I know I should find it disturbing but I can’t help it – I find it cool and kind of heartwarming.
    That last pic…what’s that around his hose and mouth? Just weed my a$$ :)

  2. aims says:

    God, can you imagine having him as a father or grandpa? No matter how rebellious you think you are, just know that your papa could out party you in a hot second. I watched his documentary on NETFLIX. I liked how he came across. He’s a little kooky, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. He’s lived a life of ten and has some killer stories. He’d be a funny dinner guest.

    • FuefinaWG says:

      His autobiography, Life, is quite good. He’s actually a very sweet, loving guy whose “caricature” persona is believed, by most, to be the real Keith Richards … and even he has fun with it.

  3. Lk says:

    I love old people. They really have no f*** left to give.

  4. Sara says:

    I read his autobiography and his son Marlon is quoted on the crazy heroin-fuelled roadtrips his dad and he took during the Rolling Stones’ tours, and let me just say Marlon is amazingly level-headed. Begged his parents to send him to school so he could have some structure. Casually talks about his mother’s young lover playing Russian roulette in her bed and killing himself. Now by all accounts a great dad and person. So…YOU GO MARLON!

    • mp says:

      yeah, I’m surprised at how well Marlon turned out too. By keith’s acct, Marlon was the only one who could talk to him when he was high and the only one who could get him ready for shows, especially when Keith started sleeping with a gun. I just can’t imagine growing up like that!

      chuckling at the line that Marlon could have grown up with health-nut freaks and that being worse. I knew some people like that, who created a religion that focused on fasting (!) for purity and it is also cray.

  5. antipodean says:

    Grandpa Keef is probably the most hilarious of his many personas. He will get all the kids hyped up on sugar, and then send them home with a raspy chuckle. I love the way he says he sometimes talks to his other persona, it would be great to earwig into that dialogue! He would be one of my ideal dinner guests. You wouldn’t need to cook anything, just provide lots of wine and smokes, and the sit back and listen, and laugh. He seems like such a sweet guy, in spite of his debauched history. He certainly seems to have the measure of SIR Mick!

  6. AntiSocialButterfly says:

    I am equally shocked by both his ability to articulate cogent thoughts, and his functional short term memory. Whodathunk it?!

  7. Lilacflowers says:

    His autobiography was a fascinating read. Through all that he was doing in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, he took care of his mother and wrote frequent letters to his aunts, which they saved and he used as resources for the book.

    His mother sounds like a real character. She washed Jagger’s underwear in a store window and she raised Keith’s oldest daughter Angela

  8. Sam says:

    The neatest Keith Richards story was when he got busted for heroin in Canada – at the time, the law provided for a possible life sentence. The story is that there was a blind Rolling Stones fan who Keith had once arranged for her to come and see a show in Toronto, and she actually testified on his behalf and he got off with a really light sentence, including doing a benefit concert for the blind. It’s absolutely crazy.

  9. thelazylioness says:

    I’m reading his autobiography right now. He’s a very loyal caring man. So far he speaks no ill of anyone except for Brian Jones who apparently was a very mean person. He’s all about the music and I never knew he wrote Satisfaction in his sleep! God bless him.

    • Tash says:

      Didn’t Brian have some mental health issues? Or maybe substance abuse led to that? I’m not sure.

  10. serena says:

    He really is funny and interesting, I’d love to read more of his interviews! Btw.. the shade at Mick Jagger’s solos.. lol

  11. Bobby the K says:

    Keith invented his on genre of guitar playing, like hendrix, van halen etc. He often tunes to open G and uses five strings on many iconic songs.
    Ive been reading interviews with him for years. He has never come close to frying his brain. He is a very authentic guy who talks like a real person. Has always respected and supported the black artists who have inspired him.
    To hear the arrogance of other artists, one can only laugh.