21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
More Stones stuff. Chuck it on the pile...,
This review is from: Life: Keith Richards (Hardcover)
It's another Rolling Stones product, just like every other Rolling Stones product since around, let's say (as I'm feeling generous) 1975. Promises much, only to ultimately disappoint. Flashes of brilliance and real interest drowning in a fog of self-regarding, self-aggrandizing cliche and adolescent fantasy. Lauded to the skies on release but doomed to be added to the pile and forgotten, just like all the other latter-day albums, films, books and collateral. More Stones stuff, in other words.
Shame (as usual) because this could have been so much more, not least by being much less. A lot of the Keith life, it has to be said, is really not that interesting - it is after all, a life lived largely in hotels and studios, punctuated by occasional gigs and cocooned in drugs and not-very-thrilling hedonism. We get loads of this of course. What we get less of are the flashes of insight, as Keith tries to get under the skin of what he plays and how he plays it and reminds you that as a musician he really was a force of nature, a man who harnessed and more or less defined the art of rock rhythm guitar and created a template to which most guitarists have subsequently adhered. These moments come and go all too quickly however, and soon enough we're back to the gunplay (yawn) and the knifeplay (zzz...) and the drugs and, and... What we get practically none of is any real feel for what it must have been like to have been part of the Stones circus, to be in those dressing rooms, to be tuning up with Brian, or Mick Taylor... it simply never comes alive in that way, but surely there must be stories to be told. Virtually none of the book is devoted to the other Stones, with the exception of Mick, about whom you'll read nothing that couldn't have come out of a cuttings pile. Charlie gets a page or so, out of 500, Bill practically nothing... it's a very ungenerous book.
Keith is like the ultimate unreliable witness to the Stones story. That wouldn't be such a problem if he wasn't also such an uninteresting witness. Maybe he just can't remember. As with all the Stones stuff from the last 30 years or so though, you start to conclude that maybe, actually, he just doesn't really care.