Friday, November 12, 2010

Mick, on Keith

I mentioned it last week on my Twitter feed, but in case you haven't seen it, there's a very nice piece of rock journalism by Bill Wyman at Slate, in which an imaginary Mick Jagger responds to stuff said by Keith Richards in his new book. [His name is Bill Wyman, but he's not the Bill Wyman who played bass for The Stones. OK?] Great reading for Stones fans old enough to remember the "golden era" and who possibly blame Mick for all the suckiness since. It's a Mick apologia, in fact, and I found it riveting. A snippet:
It is said of me that I act above the rest of the band and prefer the company of society swells. Would you rather have had a conversation with Warren Beatty, Andy Warhol, and Ahmet Ertegun … or Keith, his drug mule Tony, and the other surly nonverbal members of his merry junkie entourage? Keith actually seems not to understand why I would want my dressing room as far away as possible from that of someone who travels with a loaded gun. And for heaven's sake. No sooner did Keith kick heroin than Charlie took it up. In the book Keith blames me for not touring during the 1980s. I was quoted, unfortunately, saying words to the effect of "the Rolling Stones are a millstone around my neck." This hurt Keith's feelings. He thinks it was a canard flung from a fleeting position of advantage in my solo career, the failing of which he delights in. He's not appreciating the cause and effect. Can you imagine going on tour with an alcoholic, a junkie, and a crackhead? Millstone wasn't even the word. I spent much of the 1980s looking for a new career, and it didn't work. If I had it to do over again I would only try harder.
Damn, that's some good shit there! The entire article is as good as that. There used to be such a thing as "rock journalism." Maybe there still is.

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