Today a double-barreled assault on my immune system -- a stomach bug + the family hacking cough -- caused me to take to my boudoir for most of the day in inelegant repose. Not in the mood for the blare of the television nor for the energy of the radio, in-between snorts and gurgles I recalled that Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones had been hanging out quietly in my bedroom for awhile now, and that I really should attend to him. So we snuggled up all warm and quiet.

I suspect that you suspect that I am full of crap (well, I'm not now, but we won't explore that further). Of course, my Richards is but a read. I had previously started in on his new autobiography, Life, and was enjoying it quite a bit. But my own Life intervened -- there are never enough hours to any day. Today, my confinement made for a good opportunity to get back to the book. The guy is an interesting cat, man.

I'm about halfway through it now, and will go back to it after this post. Three small observations I wanted to share from it follow.

1. A quote from Keith, page 172, regarding the first Jagger/Richards-penned Stones hit, "The Last Time": "The song has the first recognizable Stones riff or guitar figure on it; the chorus is from the Staple Singers' version, "This May Be The Last Time." BINGO! Thanks, mate.

2. The book is written in a very straightforward, honest, and conversational way -- like you were hearing Richards' tales across a bar, sharing a few beers. It's very accessible and enjoyable. He changes that up only once, to give an Impressionist feeling to a fading memory from 1963. As the Rolling Stones were very rapidly rising in popularity in England, Richards can't quite believe that their serious and recently-destitute blues-purist band now has all these crazy female teenybopper fans. There is something poetic and charming about this little vignette between the young guitar player inside and three soaked fans outside:

"The sky is sullen. It's a day OFF! Suddenly the storm breaks viciously! Outside I see three die-hard fans. Their bouffants are succumbing to nature's forces. But they stay! What can a poor boy do? 'Get in here, dopes.' My tiny cubicle is filled with three drowned brats. They steam, trembling. They drench my room. The hairdos are done. They are trembling from the storm and from suddenly being in their (or one of their) idol's room. Confusion reigns. They don't know whether to squat or go blind. I'm equally confused. It's one thing to play on stage to them, it's another to be face-to-face. Towels become an important issue, as does the john. They make a poor attempt to resurrect themselves. It's all nerves and tension. I get them some coffee laced with a little bourbon, but sex is not even in the air. We sit and talk and laugh until the sky clears. I get them a cab. We part as friends."
3. A phrase that Richards repeats frequently in regards to the early days of the band and how everything changed is, "It all happened so fast." Good epitaph, really.