Happy Birthday to Rolling Stones co-founder Keith Richards, who turns 69-years-old on today (December 18th)!!! In October 2010, Richards released his critically acclaimed autobiography, called Life -- which has now sold over one million copies. He recently wrapped a string of sold out Rolling Stones 50th anniversary shows in Paris, London, Manhattan, and Newark, New Jersey.
Richards, along with Mick Jagger, has written some of the most enduring and important songs of the rock era, including "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Gimme Shelter," "You Can't Always Get What You Want," "Brown Sugar," "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Honky Tonk Women." "Tumbling Dice," "Waiting On A Friend," "Wild Horses" "Start Me Up," and literally hundreds of others.
Although many songs that were primarily written by Richards were sung by Jagger, over the years several of Richards vocal turns have become classics of their own, including "You've Got The Silver," "Happy," "Before They Make Me Run," "All About You," "Little T&A," and "Thru And Thru," which was featured on The Sopranos.
Apart from the Stones, Richards released two critically acclaimed studio sets with his side band the X-Pensive Winos, 1988's Talk Is Cheap and 1992's Main Offender, and is currently working on his third solo album.
In 2006 the Stones had to delay a portion of their European tour after Richards fell out of a tree while vacationing in Fiji, which resulted in two operations to relieve and drain the swelling from his brain. In 2007, Richards, whose drug use is legendary in the rock world, again shocked readers when he told the New Musical Express that, following his father Burt's 2002 death, he had snorted his father's ashes mixed with cocaine. After the story became front-page headlines, Richards recanted the story and said that he was joking. In his autobiography, Richards recanted again -- admitting that he snorted a bit of his dad, but failed to mention any cocaine.
Former Stones bassist Bill Wyman maintains that Keith Richards is quite possibly rock's most unique musician: "Well, Keith's like a gypsy, really. A pirate. He lives life like that and he plays like that and he's a great rhythm guitar player, anyway. I think, probably one of the best rhythm guitar players there's been for years. And when he gets going, I mean, it really lifts the band."
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