In the interview, Richards describes his years as a ragged rock and roller, junkie and family man, and also discusses Mick Jagger’s reaction to his 2010 memoir, Life.
For fifty years, Richards has served as captain of the pirate ship that is the Rolling Stones, and with that, he says, comes different perceptions.
“They think I’m a cartoon! I mean ‘Keith Richards’ – everybody knows what it means,” he says. “I’m glad it strikes people’s imaginations! I’d like to be old Keith and play him to the hilt. I’m probably something different to millions of different people.”
Richards also opens up about his years of drug use, relaying that he doesn’t believe any damage has been done.
“It’s like Churchill said about alcohol, ‘Believe me – I’ve taken a lot more out of alcohol than it’s ever taken out of me!’ And I kind of feel the same way about the dope and stuff. I got something out of it.”
He admits to curiosity as to how chemicals would affect his creativity, likening himself to an alchemist in search of the perfect rock ‘n’ roll cocktail, but goes on to say that “all experiments come to an end.”
Although his experiments with substances are for the most part behind him, Richards’ most recent creative endeavor, Life, has kept plenty entertained, and has sparked several conversations with bandmate Mick Jagger.
“He was intentionally annoyed. But at the same time, I had sent him the proofs. There’s nothing in there that ain’t true,” says Richards, unapologetically.