Tag Archives: Keith Richards

“Exile on Main St.” redux

Richards et al. at Nellcote

Recorded during the blazing summer of 1971 at Nellcôte, Keith Richards’s seaside mansion in southern France, Exile on Main St. has been hailed as one of the Rolling Stones’ best albums, and one of the greatest rock records of all time. Yet its improbable creation was difficult, torturous, and at times nothing short of dangerous.

In self-imposed exile, the Stones—along with wives, girlfriends, and a crew of hangers-on unrivaled in the history of rock—spent their days smoking, snorting, and drinking whatever they could get their hands on. At night, the band descended like miners into the villa’s dank basement to lay down tracks.

All the while, a variety of celebrities including John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Gram Parsons stumbled through the villa’s never-ending party, as did the local drug dealers, known to one and all as les cowboys.  Nellcôte became the crucible in which creative strife, outsize egos, and all the usual byproducts of the Stones’ legendary hedonistic excess fused into something potent, volatile, and enduring.

This according to Exile on Main St.: A season in hell with the Rolling Stones by Robert Greenfield (Cambridge: Da capo. 2006). Above, Richards at Nellcôte with Parsons and Anita Pallenberg; Below, the complete album for your contemplation.

Related article: The Beatles’ white album

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Keith Richards, pirate lord

richards-depp

In 2007 Keith Richards joined the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as Edward Teague, Pirate Lord of Madagascar. He was a natural choice for the role of Jack Sparrow’s father since Johnny Depp, a longtime fan, had partially modeled his character on the legendary guitarist.

Asked whether he saw any similarity between the roles of rock star and pirate lord, Richards said “Actually, you could look at it like that. Both are ways to make a good dishonest living.”

“The music business has never been any different. It’s a pool of piranhas. You want to get in there? You better not be tasty.”

This according to “Johnny Depp & Keith Richards: Pirates of the Caribbean’s blood brothers” by David Wild (Rolling stone 1027 [31 May 2007]).

Today is Richards’s 70th birthday! Above and below, Edward Teague comes to life.

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