Keith Richard’s Audio Book “Life”
The drummer of my band The Dead Eyes of London, recently turned me on to “Life”, an audio book about Rolling Stone’s guitarist Keith Richards. I know, I know, why not actually read the book? Well, I’m audio guy and I’m a voice over guy and when Johnny Depp signs on to read an audio book, I listen. I also wanted to check out the audible.com service since I seem to hear about it nearly everywhere lately. The crazy thing is, that Johnny Depp only reads the first few chapters, due to scheduling issues. Partway through the book, the narration switches unexpectedly to Joe Hurly. At first, I was a little bummed out about this, as I had gotten used to hearing Johnny do his thing. But man, Joe Hurly is actually the better man for the job when it comes to voicing Mr. Richards. This guy knows how to narrate with the best of them. I absolutely love the dynamics in Hurly’s voice, the way he chuckles at certain lines and the grittiness in his read. This guy is a true entertainer and I can’t wait to find out what else this guy has read. In fact, I wish it was him that read the entire book, sorry Johnny but the win goes to Joe. Now…about the book.
I’m just over halfway through this book, and I am hooked like a junkie and I’m not a Stones fan. I mean, I’ve always thought they’ve had a few amazing songs, but they’ve never captured me enough to dive into their albums. But this book has changed all that.
The thing I like most in comparison to other musician’s autobiographies I’ve read is that this story is more about the music and the musicians rather than a collection of tales of debauchery, drugs and women. Don’t get me wrong, I loved reading about all the craziness Slash, Kiedis and especially Nikki Sixx got into, but I wish they had talked more shop instead. I wanna know about the songwriting process, what the song titles mean, how they got that tone, all that stuff. This is where Richard’s really hooked me. He’s almost revealing all his secrets from how he got the guitar sound on Satisfaction to his reasoning behind his 5-string guitar. He also talks in depth about all the bands they toured with at the time. I find often find myself pausing the book to listen to seek out a band or singer he just mentioned just so I can hear what he so enthusiastically describes about them. I think by the end of this book, I’m going to be a big Stones fan, because now I feel like I was almost sitting next to Richard’s as he was coming up with those iconic riffs and crafting those awesome tones. I know understand where he is coming from as guitarist and songwriter and it makes me want to investigate and geek out on all their songs.
Thanks Mr. Richards for giving us this perfect outline of how a musician’s autobiography should be written. I feel because of this book I will forever be a better guitar player, songwriter and fan of music in general.
If you’d like to check out the book on audible, here’s the link and remember their first audio book is free when you sign up, pretty awesome. Well I’m off to take the top string off my guitar and mess around with the open G tuning!