Wow. I can’t say I’m much of a fan of most Rolling Stones records after, say, Tattoo You, but I enjoyed the hell out of his autobiography, and for a few years, the Rolling Stones made some awesome rock and roll records.
Anyway, Keef’ as alchemist…
But with the drugs and all, people will wonder how the hell you made it.
With the smack, I knew: “I’ve got to stop now, or I’m going to go in for hard time.” The cocaine I quit because I fell on my head! Due to that – no more coke. Actually, my body tells me when to stop . . . the hard way. It’s a knock on the head – OK. It’s no big deal to me, to give things up.
Your book suggests you did heroin because it allowed you to work. I find it hard to believe heroin was part of your Protestant work ethic.
It was – either stay up or crash out or wake up. It was always to do something. Also, I’ve got to confess, I was very interested in what I could take and what I could do. I looked upon the body as a laboratory – I used to throw in this chemical and then that one to see what would happen; I was intrigued by that. What one would work against another; I’ve got a bit of alchemist in me that way. But all experiments must come to an end.
Has there been damage done?
I’ve never felt that it affected the way I played one way or another; if I stayed up I got a few more songs out of it. 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. Might’ve pissed off a lot of people!
Now it’s just a little weed, a little wine?
Yeah, exactly. I hate all this idea of rehab and giving stuff up because it just means you’re hung up on it. It just means, “OK, I’m drinking too much – I’ll cut down.”
(click here to continue reading Profile: Keith Richards at 70 – MensJournal.com.)