Legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards revealed Friday the exotic highs and jealous lows of his half-century collaboration with Mick Jagger.
The bond between two of The Rolling Stones’ founder members was now so strained, Richards said he has not set foot in Jagger’s dressing room in 20 years. He added he misses the friend with whom he forged one of music’s most successful writing partnerships.
In his much anticipated autobiography, "Life," to be serialized exclusively in The (London) Times from Saturday, Richards describes in frank detail what sounds like a long and particularly explosive marriage, complete with love rivalries, drug taking, epic arguments and jaw-dropping insults.
His relationship with Jagger has continued to be turbulent. Richards, 66, confirmed that his nickname for Jagger is “Your Majesty” or “Brenda.”
Richards said, “It was the beginning of the ‘80s when Mick started to become unbearable,” adding, “I think Mick thinks I belong to him.” He admitted, “I used to love Mick, but I haven’t been to his dressing room in 20 years. Sometimes I think, ‘I miss my friend.’ I wonder, ‘Where did he go?’”
Jagger has read the book, Richards said. “I think it opened his eyes a bit.” The only thing Jagger asked him to take out was a reference to him having used a voice coach. Richards declined.
Despite their fractious relationship, Richards said they expect to tour again. “I think it’s going to happen. I’ve had a chat with ... Her Majesty. Brenda.”
In the book, for which he was paid an advance of $7.7 million, Richards wrote with candor about his notorious drug taking. He gave up heroin in 1978 after being busted five times and finally stopped taking cocaine in 2006 after he fell from a tree and needed to have brain surgery. In an interview, he claimed to have given up all drugs, but added, “I’m just waiting for them to invent something more interesting. I’m all ready to road test it.”
Richards said he has no regrets about taking heroin. “There was a lot of experience in there. I loved a good high. If you stay up, you get the songs that everyone else misses because they’re asleep.” He recalls a night when The Beatles star John Lennon -- “a silly sod [fool], in many ways” -- came round in a bathroom, lying by the toilet, murmuring, “Don’t move me -- these tiles are beautiful.”
Richards also revealed that that he worried that Johnny Depp was his son’s drug dealer – before realizing he was an actor.
“It took me two years before I realized who he was,” Richards said.
“He was just one of my son Marlon's mates, hanging around the house playing guitar.
“I never ask Marlon's mates who they are because, you know, ‘I'm a dope dealer.’
“Then one day I was at dinner and I'm like "Woah, Scissorhands."'
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