“I know who I am,” Keith Richards says in the trailer for his upcoming Netflix documentary. “But I realize that people think Keith Richards is smoking a joint, bottle in his hand, cursing the fact that the liquor store’s closed.” The teaser for Keith Richards: Under the Influence sheds light on one of rock’s most misunderstood geniuses, exploring the guitarist’s musical influences and previewing the recording sessions for his first solo album in 23 years, Crosseyed Heart. Both the documentary and album are out September 18th.
“I grew up with American folk music, jazz, blues,” Richards says in the clip. “Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters: rock and roll’s got nothing on those guys.” Elsewhere, he hypes his own ambitions as a guitarist (“Not a lot of guys want to play like Chuck Berry because it’s like taking on the devil. I’ll take it on.”) and reflects on staying youthful as he ages. “Life’s a funny thing,” he says. “Nobody wants to get old, but they don’t want to die young, either. You just got to follow this thing down the path.”
Under the Influence, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom, Best of Enemies) traces Richards’ formative years and musical journey, using rare archival materials and hours of interview footage. Neville follows the Rolling Stones veteran to three key locations: blues mecca Chicago, country musical capital Nashville and New York City, where Richards recorded his new album with collaborators Steve Jordan and Waddy Wachtel.
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“If there’s a Mount Rushmore of rock and roll, Keith’s face is surely on it,” Neville said in a recent statement. “He has always represented the soul of rock music – for all of the light and dark shades that implies. To my relief, Keith Richards turned out to be a real man – full of humor, knowledge and wisdom. That’s the real Keith we’ve worked to capture in our film, and I’m honored to bring it to a global audience via Netflix.”
According to a Netflix statement, the doc also includes “an additional dose of inspiration from a long-time friend, Tom Waits,” who recently penned a surreal poem honoring Richards for Rolling Stone.