- Category : Musician - Popular
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 3/6 - Martyr / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Eden 4
Keith Richards (born 18 December 1943) is an English guitarist, songwriter, singer and a founding member of the British musical group The Rolling Stones in 1962.
With songwriting partner and Stones lead vocalist Mick Jagger, he has written, recorded and published hundreds of songs including "Satisfaction", "Jumpin' Jack Flash", "Miss You" and "Start Me Up".
Though he has had a solo career and appears as a guest artist on the recordings of other artists, his association with the Stones has defined his musical career. As a guitarist Richards is mostly known for his innovative rhythm playing. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Richards #10 in its list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Public image and private life
By 1988 Richards had earned notoriety for his drug-related outlaw image. Richards and the Stones cultivated a decadent and counter-culture aesthetic during the 1960s and 70s, and Richards' frank admission that he used narcotics often made him a poster-boy for teens and adults who sought refuge in — as Keith sings in "Before They Make Me Run" — "booze and pills and powders."
Two famous arrests came ten years apart, the first in 1967 with Jagger and friends at Redlands, Richards' Sussex estate, which placed him in custody and trial before the court of public opinion and Her Majesty. The Times editorial "Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?" portrayed the trial as persecution and helped turn public sentiment against the conviction which was quashed after two days of imprisonment. The case also began a succession of drug arrests for Richards that continued until the late 1970s.
More threatening was the arrest in February 1977 at Toronto's Harbour Castle Hotel (Regina v. Richards) when Richards was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for "22 grams of heroin" and was charged with importing narcotics, an offence with a minimum sentence of seven years imprisonment according to the Criminal Code of Canada.
For the next three years, Richards lived under threat of criminal sanction as he sought medical treatment in the U.S. for heroin addiction. During this period, The Rolling Stones released their biggest-selling album (eight million copies), Some Girls, which included their last North American number-one pop chart single, "Miss You". After the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld Richards' original sentence, he paid his debt to society by performing two benefit concerts for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, at the cannabis smoke filled Oshawa Civic Auditorium on April 22, 1979. Both concerts featured The Rolling Stones and The New Barbarians, a band Ron Wood had formed to promote his album Gimmie Some Neck.
Richards and Hansen, photo courtesy Launch Music www.launch.yahoo.comLater in 1979, Keith met future wife and model Patti Hansen. They married 18 December 1983, Richards's 40th birthday, and have two daughters, Theodora and Alexandra.
Richards continues cordial relations with Anita Pallenberg, the mother of his first three children, and often refers to having two wives, although he never officially married Pallenberg. Together they have a son, Marlon Richards (named after the actor Marlon Brando), and another daughter, Angela (nee Dandelion). Their third child, a boy Tara (named after Keith's close friend Tara Browne), died several weeks after his birth in 1976.