Keith Richards

40 Things About - Keith Richards


1 The Fort Harrison Hotel (known at the time as the Jack Tar Harrison Hotel) where Keith Richards rolled out of bed with the idea for the riff for “(I Can’t Get No), Satisfaction” was bought by the Church of Scientology in 1975 and now frequently hosts religious retreats.

2 In his autobiography, Keith said he once cleared a hotel room of unwanted guests by getting a gun out and firing it through the floor.

3 During 1993, Keith Richards adopted a stray cat in Barbados which he named Voodoo, he dubbed the terrace of the house, "the Voodoo Lounge", which is where the name of the Stones’ 1994 album was taken.

4 From September 1950, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were classmates at Wentworth Primary School in Dartford, Kent.



5 In 1976 when Keith Richards arrived two and a half hours late for a UK court appearance, on drug and driving charges, he blamed his late arrival on the fact that his trousers had not been returned from the cleaners on time.

6 In his "Life" autobiography, Richards reckons that on average, he slept only two nights a week for many years of the Stones’ glory years. “This means that I have been conscious for at least three lifetimes,” he calculated.

7 On the night of the infamous 1967 Redlands drug bust, Keith was so far gone on LSD that when the police arrived at his Sussex country mansion, he mistook them for uniformed dwarves, welcoming them in with open arms.

8 A heavy smoker since his teens, we worked out that smoking a packet a day of Marlboros, Keith has smoked over half a million cigarettes! Venting his anger at smoking bans he said: “It’s a bit of a drag because you’ve got to freeze your balls off to light a cigarette. You’ve got to go outside. It’s draconian, social, politically correct bullshit.”

9 Keith Richards recorded the rough version of the riff for "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" in a hotel room. He ran through it once before falling asleep. He said when he listened back to it in the morning, there was about two minutes of acoustic guitar before you could hear him drop the pick and "then me snoring for the next forty minutes".

10 Keith Richards & Ronnie Wood supported Led Zeppelin at the Knebworth Festival in 1979 in The New Barbarians.

11 Perirehaedulus richardsi is a species of prehistoric trilobite named after Keith Richards.

12 Richards was almost crushed by a pile of heavy books. He was in his home library, standing on a chair to reach a book about Leonardo da Vinci's study of anatomy when he slipped. Many tomes came pouring down on top of him. The accident resulted in three broken ribs for Richards and a tour postponement for the Stones.

13 In 1974, Keith Richards was nominated ‘The World’s Most Elegantly Wasted Human Being’ by the New Musical Express.

14 According to Keith Richards’s autobiography, "Life", "Ruby Tuesday" was written about his then girlfriend Linda Keith. Linda had taken up with Jimi Hendrix, and had got involved with drugs. She left Keith, and he tried to get her back.



15 Keith Richards’ 1953 butterscotch Fender Telecaster is nicknamed "Micawber", after a character in Charles Dickens' novel David Copperfield. One of his main stage guitars, its used to play "Brown Sugar", "Before They Make Me Run" and "Honky Tonk Women".

16 It was reported that publisher Little, Brown and Company paid an advance of $7.3 million for Keith’s memoir “Life” after seeing a ten-page extract.

17 Keith says he got the music bug aged at just three years old. His favorites were Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Big Bill Broonzy and Louis Armstrong.

18 Keith has stated that he and Jagger wrote the lyrics for Jumpin' Jack Flash while staying at Richards' country house, where they were awoken one morning by the sound of gardener Jack Dyer walking past the window. When Jagger asked what the noise was, Richards responded: "Oh, that's Jack – that's jumpin' Jack."

19 As a choirboy Keith Richards sang in a trio of boy sopranos at, among other occasions, Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth II.

20 During the 1944 Nazi bomb raids over London, Richards and his mum evacuated to a region that was out of the line of fire. When things died down, they returned to find that some of their neighbors had been killed and that baby Keith's cot had been blown up by V-1 bomb.

21 Rolling Stone magazine said Keith Richards has created "rock's greatest single body of riffs", and named him the 4th greatest guitarist of all time.

22 He once nearly burned down the Playboy Mansion. At a party in the 1970s, he and sax player Bobby Keys accidentally set fire to a bathroom.

23 Keith Richards played bass with John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell in The Dirty Mac for The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus TV special, filmed in 1968.

24 Keith Richards is an avid reader with a strong interest in history and owns an extensive library. An April 2010 article revealed that Richards yearns to be a librarian.

25 As a boy, Keith Richards was a Boy Scout.

26 He’s coined a name for his preferred tipple. According to the man himself, “Whiskey wasn’t agreeing with me anymore. The old body couldn’t take it. Brandy is a killer, and wine is best with food, so somehow I settled on this.” His recipe is 2 oz. premium vodka. 1 oz. of orange soda and plenty of ice. Keith calls it Nuclear Waste.

27 Keith Richards made a cameo appearance as Captain Teague, the father of Captain Jack Sparrow (played by Johnny Depp), in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, released in May 2007, and won the Best Celebrity Cameo award at the 2007 Spike Horror Awards.



28 During the making of 1972's Exile on Main St., mostly recorded at Richards's rented villa Nellcote in the south of France, Richards and Pallenberg were deep in the throes of heroin addiction. Richards had a penchant for passing out, sometimes with the needle still in his arm or – on one occasion – a lit cigarette in his hand. The bed went up in flames, and Richards and Pallenberg woke up just in time to escape.

29 Richards is known for loving shepherd’s pie. He demands it on tour.

30 In April 2006, on holiday in Fiji, Keith suffered a head injury after falling out of a tree; he subsequently underwent cranial surgery at a New Zealand hospital. The incident caused a six-week delay in launching the Rolling Stones' 2006 European tour.

31 In 2008 fashion house Louis Vuitton unveiled an advertising campaign featuring a photo of Richards with his ebony Gibson ES-355, taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz. Richards donated the fee for his involvement to the Climate Project, an organisation for raising environmental awareness.

32 Nellcôte, which was leased during the summer of 1971 by Keith Richards, and used for recording sessions for their Exile on Main St. album, had previously served as the headquarters of the local Gestapo during the Nazi occupation of France in the early 1940s.

33 After the Rolling Stones signed to Decca Records in 1963 their manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, dropped the 's' from Richards' surname believing "Keith Richard" in his words "looked more pop". In the early 1970s Richards re-established the 's' in his surname.

34 His grandfather ‘Gus’ Dupree gave him his first guitar.

35 Richards, along with Mick Jagger and numerous other guests, sang on the Beatles' 1967 TV broadcast of "All You Need Is Love".

36 Richards has been tried on drug-related charges five times: in 1967, twice in 1973, in 1977, and in 1978.



37 Keith has worked with Tom Waits on three occasions: Waits' album Rain Dogs (1985); co-writing, playing and sharing the lead vocal on "That Feel" on Bone Machine (1992); and adding guitar and vocals to Bad As Me (2011).

38 As the guitarist revealed in an interview, then confirmed in his autobiography 'Life', he once snorted the ashes of his dad. "The truth of the matter is that after having Dad’s ashes in a black box for six years, because I really couldn’t bring myself to scatter him to the winds, I finally planted a sturdy English oak to spread him around," Richard wrote. "And as I took the lid off of the box, a fine spray of his ashes blew out on to the table. I couldn’t just brush him off so I wiped my finger over it and snorted the residue. Ashes to ashes, father to son."

39 When it was published in 2010, "Life" was showered with critical acclaim from all quarters, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd anointed Richards “the consummate gentleman.”

40 Keith Richards’ beach-front Caribbean holiday home at Parrot Cay Resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands is available for rent, at £35,000 ($52,000) a week.


Keith Richards - A Life In Pictures is published by Omnibus Press


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Steve Harley

February 27th 1951, Born on this day, Steve Harley, singer, with English group Cockney Rebel who had the 1975 UK No.1 single 'Make Me Smile, Come Up And See Me'. Now solo and also works as a radio presenter.

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Janis Joplin

February 27th 1971, Five months after her death, Janis Joplin started a nine-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with here second and final solo studio album Pearl. Joplin sang on all tracks except 'Buried Alive in the Blues', which remained a Full Tilt Boogie instrumental because she died before adding her vocals. 


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Pink Floyd

February 27th 1967, Pink Floyd continued working on their debut album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn at Abbey Road Studios, London. With the exception of two group-composed instrumentals and one Roger Waters song, the album was written entirely by Syd Barrett.  


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Eric Carmen


 ERIC CARMEN         

Artist Biography by Greg Prato


Eric Carmen has amassed an impressive amount of hit singles over his long career, whether it be as a member of the influential power pop outfit the Raspberries, as a solo artist, or as a songwriter for others. Born on August 11, 1949, in Cleveland, OH, Carmen began his musical training at an early age -- by the age of six, he was taking violin lessons, and by 11, he was playing piano and penning his own original compositions. With his discovery of the Beatles during the early '60s, Carmen's attention shifted toward rock & roll, as he began playing piano and singing with high school bands. It was while Carmen was a student at John Carroll University that he joined a local group called Cyrus Erie, who, apart from issuing several obscure singles for Epic Records, failed to leave much of an impact outside of the local region.




But when another popular local rock outfit, the Choir, split up, Carmen and another Cyrus Erie member, guitarist Wally Bryson, joined forces with former Choir members Dave Smalley (bass) and Jim Bonfanti (drums), which led to the formation of the Raspberries. Mixing rockers (that combined the melody of the Beatles and the guitar riffs of the Who) with lush ballads, the quartet quickly created a buzz, which resulted in a recording contract with Capitol. Right off the bat, the quartet scored a massive hit single with the infectious "Go All the Way" (taken from their self-titled 1972 debut), which peaked at number five on the singles charts. Despite issuing further solid albums (1972's Fresh, 1973's Side Three, and 1974's Starting Over), the group became known first and foremost as a "singles" act, as their albums failed to match the chart success of such further hit singles as "I Wanna Be With You," "Let's Pretend," and "Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)." With Carmen's increasing frustration with the group, the Raspberries split up in 1975 (it wasn't long, however, before other groups began translating the Raspberries' sound/approach into their own hits, especially Cheap Trick and the Knack, among countless others).


Boats Against the Current

Immediately thereafter, Carmen inked a solo deal with Arista. Instead of following in the Raspberries' power pop direction, he opted for a more mature, singer/songwriter/ballad style, as evidenced by his self-titled 1975 debut. The shift in musical styles soon reaped rewards for Carmen, as it spawned two big hits -- "All by Myself" and "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again" -- while the album almost cracked the Top 20. Despite a strong start to his solo career, the hits soon dried up, as such subsequent albums as 1977's Boats Against the Current, 1978's Change of Heart, and 1980's Tonight You're Mine each sold less than its predecessor. Carmen sunk from sight for several years, but penned the Top Ten hit power ballad "Almost Paradise" (from the incredibly popular 1984 Footloose [Original Soundtrack]), sung by Heart's Ann Wilson and Loverboy's Mike Reno.


Dirty Dancing [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

With the single proving that a large audience still existed for Carmen-penned ballads, the singer resurfaced a year later with his first solo album in five years -- the second self-titled release of his career. While it did spawn a moderate hit with the single "I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips," the album failed to move up the charts. But it was another movie soundtrack, 1987's Dirty Dancing, that would land Carmen his next big hit, the Top Ten "Hungry Eyes." Carmen scored another hit a year later, "Make Me Lose Control," and also toured as part of the Dirty Dancing concert tour, as well. When the tour wound up, Carmen pulled a disappearing act once more, yet throughout the '90s, a wide variety of renowned artists covered songs of his, including Babes in Toyland, Peter Cetera, Sheryl Crow, Celine Dion, and Diana Ross, among others. 1998 saw Carmen issue his first solo full-length in 13 years, the Japanese release Winter Dreams (released in the U.S. as I Was Born to Love You a year later), while rumors began to swirl regarding an impending Raspberries reunion tour. While it was true that all four original Raspberries members met up in early 1999, and three of them performed a few months later in Cleveland at a party, a reunion ultimately failed to materialize.(AllMusic)


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Alice Cooper

ALICE COOPER    .cooper-alice-photo-xl-alice-cooper-6226509

Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine


Originally, there was a band called Alice Cooper led by a singer named Vincent Damon Furnier. Under his direction, Alice Cooper pioneered a grandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal that was designed to shock. Drawing equally from horror movies, vaudeville, heavy metal, and garage rock, the group created a stage show that featured electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood, and huge boa constrictors, all coordinated by the heavily made-up Furnier. By that time, Furnier had adopted the name for his androgynous on-stage personality. While the visuals were extremely important to the group's impact, the band's music was nearly as distinctive. Driven by raw, simple riffs and melodies that derived from '60s guitar pop as well as show tunes, it was rock & roll at its most basic and catchy, even when the band ventured into psychedelia and art rock. After the original group broke up and Furnier began a solo career as Alice Cooper, his actual music lost most of its theatrical flourishes, becoming straightforward heavy metal, yet his stage show retained all of the trademark props that made him the king of shock rock.


Furnier formed his first group, the Earwigs, as an Arizona teenager in the early '60s. Changing the band's name to the Spiders in 1965, the group was eventually called the Nazz (not to be confused with Todd Rundgren's band of the same name). The Spiders and the Nazz both released local singles that were moderately popular. In 1968, after discovering there was another band with the same name, the group changed its name to Alice Cooper. According to band legend, the name came to Furnier during a Ouija board session, where he was told he was the reincarnation of a 17th century witch of the same name. Comprised of vocalist Furnier -- who would soon begin calling himself Alice Cooper -- guitarist Mike Bruce, guitarist Glen Buxton, bassist Dennis Dunaway, and drummer Neal Smith, the group moved to California in 1968. There, the group met Shep Gordon, who became their manager, and Frank Zappa, who signed Alice Cooper to his Straight Records imprint.



Pretties for You

Alice Cooper released their first album, Pretties for You, in 1969. Easy Action followed early in 1970, yet it failed to chart. The group's reputation in Los Angeles was slowly shrinking, so the band moved to Furnier's hometown of Detroit. For the next year, the group refined their bizarre stage show. Late in 1970, the group's contract was transferred to Straight's distributor Warner Bros., and they began recording their third album with producer Bob Ezrin. With Ezrin's assistance, Alice Cooper developed their classic heavy metal crunch on 1971's Love It to Death, which featured the number 21 hit single "Eighteen"; the album peaked at number 35 and went gold. The success enabled the group to develop a more impressive, elaborate live show, which made them highly popular concert attractions across the U.S. and eventually the U.K. Killer, released late in 1971, was another gold album.


School's Out

Released in the summer of 1972, School's Out was Alice Cooper's breakthrough record, peaking at number two and selling over a million copies. The title song became a Top Ten hit in the U.S. and a number one single in the U.K. Billion Dollar Babies, released the following year, was the group's biggest hit, reaching number one in both America and Britain; the album's first single, "No More Mr. Nice Guy," became a Top Ten hit in Britain, peaking at number 25 in the U.S. Muscle of Love appeared late in 1973, yet it failed to capitalize on the success of Billion Dollar Babies. After Muscle of Love, Furnier and the rest of Alice Cooper parted ways to pursue other projects. Having officially changed his name to Alice Cooper, Furnier embarked on a similarly theatrical solo career; the rest of the band released one unsuccessful album under the name Billion Dollar Babies, while Mike Bruce and Neal Smith both recorded solo albums that were never issued. In the fall of 1974, a compilation of Alice Cooper's five Warner albums, entitled Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits, became a Top Ten hit.


Welcome to My Nightmare

For his first solo album, Welcome to My Nightmare, Cooper hired Lou Reed's backing band from Rock 'N' Roll Animal -- guitarists Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, bassist Prakash John, keyboardist Joseph Chrowski, and drummer Penti Glan -- as his supporting group. Released in the spring of 1975, the record was similar to his previous work and it became a Top Ten hit in America, launching the hit acoustic ballad "Only Women Bleed." Its success put an end to any idea of reconvening Alice Cooper the band. Its follow-up, 1976's Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, was another hit, going gold in the U.S. After Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, Cooper's career began to slip, partially due to changing trends and partially due to his alcoholism. Cooper entered rehabilitation in 1978, writing an album about his treatment called From the Inside (1978) with Bernie Taupin, Elton John's lyricist. During the early '80s, Cooper continued to release albums and tour, yet he was no longer as popular as he was during his early-'70s heyday.



Cooper made a successful comeback in the late '80s, sparked by his appearances in horror films and a series of pop-metal bands that paid musical homage to his classic early records and concerts. Constrictor, released in 1986, began his comeback, but it was 1989's Trash that returned Cooper to the spotlight. Produced by the proven hitmaker Desmond Child, Trash featured guest appearances by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and most of Aerosmith; the record became a Top Ten hit in Britain and peaked at number 20 in the U.S., going platinum. "Poison," a midtempo rocker featured on the album, became Cooper's first Top Ten single since 1977. After the release of Trash, he continued to star in the occasional film, tour, and record, although he wasn't able to retain the audience recaptured with Trash. Still, 1991's Hey Stoopid and 1994's The Last Temptation were generally solid, professional efforts that helped Cooper settle into a comfortable cult status without damaging the critical goodwill surrounding his '70s output. After a live album, 1997's Fistful of Alice, Cooper returned on the smaller Spitfire label in 2000 with Brutal Planet and Dragontown a year later. The Eyes of Alice Cooper appeared in 2003 and found Alice and company playing a more stripped-down brand of near-garage rock. Dirty Diamonds from 2005 was nearly as raw and hit the streets around the same time Alice premiered his syndicated radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper. Three years later he returned with Along Came a Spider, a concept album that told the story of a spider-obsessed serial killer. In 2010, he released the live album Theatre of Death, along with a download-only EP of redone Cooper classics titled Alice Does Alice. 2011's Welcome 2 My Nightmare, a sequel to his 1975, conceptual classic of the same name (minus the 2), was recorded with longtime co-conspirator Bob Ezrin, and featured 14 brand new cuts that spanned multiple genres and relied on the talents of a host of previous members of the Alice Cooper band (including Steve Hunter), as well as a guest spot from pop superstar Ke$ha.(AllMusic)

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Nancy Sinatra

February 26th 1966, Nancy Sinatra went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'These Boots Are Made For Walking', also a UK No.1. 


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Johnny Cash

26th Feb 1932, Born on this day, Johnny Cash US country singer, songwriter who was considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Although he is remembered as a country icon, his songs spanned other genres including rock and roll and rockabilly and blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of induction in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. During the last stage of his career, Cash covered songs by several late 20th-century rock artists, most notably 'Hurt' by Nine Inch Nails. Cash died of respiratory failure on September 12th 2003, aged 71.

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Sandie Shaw

February 26th 1947, Born on this day, Sandie Shaw, British singer who had the 1964 UK No.1 single 'There's Always Something There To Remind Me', plus 15 other UK Top 40 singles. Shaw was the first UK act to win the Eurovision Song Contest with her 1967 song 'Puppet On A String.'  

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Fats Domino

February 26th  1928, Born on this day, Fats Domino, (Antoine Domino), singer, pianist, bandleader, songwriter who had the 1957 US No.6 & UK No.6 single 'Blueberry Hill' and 35 other US Top 40 singles.

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February 26th 1977, The Eagles went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'New Kid On Town', the group's third US No.1, a No.20 hit n the UK.

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The Beatles

February 26th 1966, The Beatles Rubber Soul was at No.1 on the US album chart, the group's seventh US album chart topper.


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