Friday, August 31, 2007

Keith Richards
Keith Richards (born 18 December 1943) is an English guitarist, songwriter, singer and a founding member of The Rolling Stones since 1962. With songwriting partner and Stones lead vocalist Mick Jagger, he has written and recorded hundreds of songs. As a guitarist Richards is mostly known for his innovative rhythm playing. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Richards #10 in its list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

Early life

Musical career
Richards has derived inspiration from Chuck Berry throughout his career. While The Rolling Stones were conceived as a rhythm and blues band, both Jagger and Richards were responsible for bringing the rock 'n' roll songs of Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry to the band. With Stones founding member and guitarist Brian Jones, Richards developed a two-guitar style of interwoven leads and rhythms. Jones was replaced by the virtuoso guitarist Mick Taylor (1969 – 1974), who contributed to some of the group's most well-regarded records. Taylor's addition also led to a pronounced separation in the duties of lead and rhythm guitar. Taylor's replacement in 1975 was the more rhythmically-oriented Ron Wood. Richards says the pairing with Wood has resulted in his most musically satisfying years with in The Stones.
Richards often uses guitars with open tunings which allow for syncopated and ringing I-IV chording that can be heard on "Start Me Up" and "Street Fighting Man." A five-string variant of the open G (borrowed from Don Everly of the Everly Brothers) which uses GDGBD unencumbered by a rumbling, lower 6th string, is prominent on "Honky Tonk Women," "Brown Sugar" and "Start Me Up". Though he still uses standard tunings, Richards claimed that his adoption of open tunings in the late sixties led to a musical "rebirth". When Jones' declining contributions left Richards to record all guitar parts - including slide guitar. After Taylor and later Wood, both accomplished slide players, joined the band, Richards almost completely stopped playing slide .
Richards - who has over 1000 guitars, some of which he has not played but was simply given - is often associated with the Fender Telecaster, but his main guitar of late appears to be an ebony Gibson ES-355, and he has often played Fender Stratocasters. It is often hard to detect by ear what guitar he plays. In Guitar World he joked that no matter what make of guitar, he can make them sound the same. On The Stones "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" Richards recorded the first top ten hit to feature a guitar fuzz effect which has since become commonplace., and many Stones hits including "Not Fade Away", "Satisfaction", "Street Fighting Man" and "Brown Sugar" feature acoustic guitar parts.
Richards' backing vocals appear on every Stones album, and since 1969's Let It Bleed, most Stones' releases contained a Richards lead vocal. He has also contributed occasional bass and keyboard parts. Richards has always been active in record production for the Stones and for himself, often in tandem with Mick Jagger (as the Glimmer Twins) and outside producers.

Guitar playing
Richards and Jagger began writing songs following the example of the Beatles' Lennon/McCartney and the encouragement of Stone's manager Oldham, who saw little future for a cover band. The Stones had many hits with Jagger/Richards-penned songs; 1965's "Satisfaction" was their first international #1 recording. Jagger/Richards songs reflected the influence of blues, R&B, and rock 'n' roll, and later incorporated soul, folk, pop, country, gospel, psychedelia, and the social commentary that Bob Dylan made prominent on Top 40 radio. Their work in the 1970s and beyond has incorporated elements of funk, disco, calypso, reggae, and punk. Since 1980 with "All About You", Richards has frequently written and recorded slow, torchy ballads.
With scattered exceptions, all Rolling Stones albums from 1966 onwards have consisted of songs credited to Jagger/Richards regardless of how much collaboration occurred. For solo recordings, Richards always credits a songwriting partner, frequently drummer and co-producer Steve Jordan.
Richards was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1993.

Richards released a solo single, "Run Rudolph Run", and toured with The New Barbarians in 1979, consisting of Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, bassist Stanley Clarke and Meters drummer Ziggy Modeliste. Nonetheless Richards resisted sustained ventures outside of the Stones. Consequently his solo recordings are fewer than those of Jagger, Charlie Watts, and even Ronnie Wood.
When Jagger refused to tour behind Dirty Work, Richards actively pursued solo work. He formed Keith Richards and the X-pensive Winos in 1988 (first named Organized Crime) with Steve Jordan, who had drummed on the Stones' "Dirty Work" and on Hail! Hail! Rock 'N' Roll, a documentary of Chuck Berry's 60th birthday concert organized, produced and hosted by Richards.
Besides Steve Jordan, the X-pensive Winos featured Sarah Dash, Waddy Wachtel, Ivan Neville, Charley Drayton and Bernie Worrell. Their first release, Talk Is Cheap produced no Top 40 hits, though it went gold and has remained a consistent seller. It spawned a brief U.S. tour - one of only two that Richards has done as a solo artist. The first tour is documented on the Virgin release Live at the Hollywood Palladium, December 15, 1988. In 1992 Main Offender was released, and the Winos toured again through North and South America as well as Europe.
Richards' solo career put him in the role of frontman, and the Hollywood Palladium concert video showed a more active stage persona than the Richards seen in the documentary of the Stones' 1969 American tour, Gimme Shelter. Jagger and Richards resumed working with the Stones in 1989, the year they released Steel Wheels.

Solo recordings
Richards rarely recorded or appeared outside of The Rolling Stones during the 1960s and 70s. Exceptions were Richards playing bass with John Lennon, Eric Clapton, and Mitch Mitchell as The Dirty Mac for The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus TV special, and Keith singing with Mick and several guests on The Beatles' TV broadcast of "All You Need Is Love". In the 1970s Richards played and helped produce John Phillips' solo recording Pay, Pack & Follow, (released in 2001). He also appeared on some of Ronnie Wood's solo recordings in the 1970s. From the 1980s on Richards has more frequently appeared as a guest artist. He duetted with country legend George Jones on the Bradley Barn Sessions, singing "Say it's not You" as an homage to deceased friend Gram Parsons, and on a Hank Williams tribute album Timeless ("You Win Again"). He has also appeared on veteran blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin's About Them Shoes, singing lead vocal on "Still a Fool". He contributed guitar and vocals, and co-produced Johnnie Johnson's release "Johnny B. Bad". In the early 1990s Richards played and produced a recording of Jamaican Rastafarians, The Wingless Angels releasing the collaboration on his own label, Mindless Records. He has also recorded with Tom Waits, playing guitar on several songs on Rain Dogs (1985), and playing on, singing and co-writing "That Feel" on Bone Machine (1992). Richards also played with Toots & the Maytals on the song Careless Ethiopians for their 2004 album True Love.

Recordings with other artists
The Stones recently released Rarities 1971-2003 (2006), which includes sixteen rare and limited-issue recordings. Richards has described the released output of the Stones as the "tip of the iceberg." Many unreleased songs and studio jam sessions including their BBC recordings from the early 1960s are widely bootlegged. Many bootlegs feature Richards singing, include the post-bust 1977 Canadian studio sessions, 1981 studio sessions, 1983 wedding tapes, among others. Since unreleased recordings often appear as post-career or posthumous releases - and also due to tangled legal complexities with past management - many of these recordings are available only as bootlegs - often as MP3 files on peer-to-peer sharing programs.

Public image and private life
Doris Richards, Keith's 91-year-old mother lost her battle with cancer and passed away in England on April 21, 2007. In an official statement released by a Richards representative, it was said Richards, her only child, kept a vigil by her bedside during her last days. The Rolling Stones announced a revised tour schedule on June 2, which included a brief statement from Richards apologising for "falling off his perch". The band will tour in Europe in 2007 to make up for some missed dates as a result of the accident. The 2007 tour will start in Belgium on June 5, 2007, as confirmed by Mick Jagger.

Recent news

Solo discography

Talk is Cheap (3 October 1988) UK #37 3 wks; US #24 23 wks; Japan #5 7 wks
Live at the Hollywood Palladium, December 15, 1988 (10 December 1991) Japan #54 4 wks
Main Offender (19 October 1992) UK #45 1 wk; US #99 10 wks; Japan #18 5 wks Albums

"Run Rudolph Run" b/w "The Harder They Come" (December 1978)
"Take It So Hard" (October 1988) #3 US Mainstream Rock
"You Don't Move Me" (November 1988) #18 US Mainstream Rock
"Struggle" (February 1989) #47 US Mainstream Rock
"Wicked As It Seems" (October 1992) #3 US Mainstream Rock
"Eileen" (January 1993) #17 US Mainstream Rock Singles

The New Barbarians: Buried Alive (recorded 1979, released 2006) – the band's 1979 Largo MD concert (guitar, piano, lead and backing vocals)
Jerry Lee Lewis: Last Man Standing: The Duets (2006) – "That Kind of Fool" (duet)
Ronnie Spector: Last of the Rock Stars (2006) – "It's Gonna Work Out Fine" (duet) and "All I Want"
Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played (2005) – "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl"
Buddy Guy Bring "Em In – "The Price You Gotta Pay"
Toots & the Maytals: True Love (2004) – "Careless Ethiopians" (duet)
Return to Sin City: A Tribute to Gram Parsons (2004) – "Love Hurts" (duet with Norah Jones), "Hickory Wind" (duet with Jim Lauderdale), "Wild Horses" (with the Sin City all-star ensemble)
Willie Nelson & Friends: Outlaws & Angels (2004) – "We Had It All" (duet with Willie Nelson), "Trouble in Mind" and "Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On" (with Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson, et al)
Hubert Sumlin: About Them Shoes (2004) – "Still a Fool" (lead vocal), "I Love the Life I Lead" and "Little Girl"
Willie Nelson & Friends: Stars & Guitars (2002) – "Dead Flowers" (with the Lost Highwaymen)
Alexis Korner: Musically Rich...and Famous: Anthology 1967-1982 (2003) (Guitar on "Get Off My Cloud")
Peter Wolf: Sleepless (2002) - guitar
John Phillips: Pay, Pack & Follow (recorded 1973–1979, released 2001) – co-producer, guitar
Charlie Watts: Charlie Watts - Jim Keltner Project (2000) - guitar
Timeless: Tribute to Hank Williams (2001) – "You Win Again"
Sheryl Crow: "Happy" Sheryl Crow & Friends: Live From Central Park (1999)
Marianne Faithfull: This Little Bird (1998) - guitar with Ron Wood
B.B. King: Deuces Wild (1997) - guitar
Scotty Moore: All the King's Men (1997). "Deuce and a Quarter", (duet with Levon Helm)
Ivan Neville: Thanks (1995) - guitar with Ron Wood, Scrape (2004) - guitar
Bernie Worrell: Funk of Ages (1994) - guitar
Bobby Womack: Resurrection (1994) - guitar
Wingless Angels (1993) – producer
Jimmy Rogers All-Stars: Blues Blues Blues – "Trouble No More" and "Don't Start Me Talkin'" - guitar
George Jones: Bradley Barn Sessions (1993) – "Say It's Not You" (duet)
Ian McLagan: Troublemaker (1993) - guitar with Ron Wood
Tom Waits: Bone Machine (1992) – "That Feel" (co-composer, backing vocal and guitar), Rain Dogs (1985) - guitar
Weird Nightmare: Meditations on Mingus (1992) – "Oh Lord Don't Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb on Me (lead vocal and guitar)
John Lee Hooker (1991) – Mr. Lucky "Crawling King Snake" - guitar and "Whiskey and Wimmen" - guitar, backing vocal
Johnnie Johnson: Johnnie B. Bad (1991) – "Key to the Highway" (lead vocal, guitar, co-producer), "Tanqueray" (guitar, co-composer).
The Neville Brothers: Uptown (1991) - guitar
Ziggy Marley: Conscious Party (1988) "Lee & Molly" - guitar
Feargal Sharkey: Wish (1988) - guitar
Nona Hendryx: Female Trouble (1987) - guitar
Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987) – soundtrack of Chuck Berry concert film (additional material released on DVD June 2006) – "Crawling King Snake" guitar
Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986) – producer on Aretha Franklin's version of the title song
Sun City, Artists United Against Apartheid (1985) – "Silver and Gold" (guitar, co-composer) with Ron Wood and U2's Bono and The Edge
Max Romeo: Holding Out My Love For You (1981) – recorded guitar and mixed tracks
Dirty Strangers: Dirty Strangers. (1980) - guitar with Ron Wood
Ron Wood: Now Look (1975) – "Breathe on Me", "I Can't Stand the Rain", "I Can Say She's Alright" (guitar, backing vocals)
Peter Tosh: Bush Doctor (1978) – guitar
Ron Wood: I've Got My Own Album to Do (1974) – "Sure the One You Need" (co-composer, lead vocal and guitar), "Act Together" (co-composer, guitar, backing vocals); guitar and backing vocals on most other tracks
Billy Preston: That's the Way God Planned It (1969) - guitar Rolling Stones lead vocals
An incomplete list of some of the most popular bootleg tracks unreleased by the Rolling Stones or Richards in any market world-wide. Verification of the track should be documented by citing some sources, such as The Rolling Stones Complete Recording Sessions 1962 – 2002

"Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Blue" (early version of "Dandelion") (recorded 1966, unreleased outtake)
"Gimme Shelter" (recorded 1969, unreleased Let It Bleed outtake, 1969)
"Rip This Joint" (recorded 1971 – 1972, unreleased Exile On Main Street outtake, 1972)
"Scarlet" (recorded 1974, unreleased solo demo featuring Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin on guitar)
"I Got A Letter" (recorded 1974, unreleased Black And Blue outtake)
"Holding On" (recorded 1976, unreleased solo demo)
"Bad Luck" (recorded 1977, unreleased solo demo)
"Let's Go Steady, Again" (recorded 1977, Toronto sessions),

  • Live version released 2006 on Buried Alive: Live in Maryland.
    "Worried Life Blues" (recorded 1977, Toronto sessions),

    • Live version released 2006 on Buried Alive: Live in Maryland.
      "Apartment No.9" (recorded 1977, Toronto sessions)

      • Live version released 2006 on Buried Alive: Live in Maryland.
        "I Can't Help It" (recorded 1977 – 1978, unreleased Some Girls outtake)
        "I Think I'm Going Mad" (recorded 1982, unreleased Undercover outtake)
        "Crushed Pearl" (1985) Dirty Work outtake
        "Breakin'" (1985) Dirty Work outtake
        "Too Much" (1985) Dirty Work outtake
        "Deep Love" (1985) Dirty Work outtake
        "You Don't Tell Me" (with Bobby Womack) Dirty Work outtake
        "Almost Hear You Sigh" (1987) Talk is Cheap outtake
        "Love is Strong/Strange" (1993) Voodoo Lounge outtake
        "It's Funny" (1993) Voodoo Lounge outtake
        "You Got it Made" (1993) Voodoo Lounge outtake

No comments: