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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

'Because Life Is Ambiguous'


“Songwriting's a weird game. I never intended to become one - I fell into this by mistake, and I can't get out of it. It fascinates me. I like to point out the rawer points of life.” – Keith Richards

Born in the London suburb of Dartford on this date in1943, Richards started life on the go as his family was temporarily evacuated from their home during the Nazi bombing and rocket campaign of 1944.   In 1951, while attending primary school, Richards first met and befriended Mick Jagger in what would not only become a lifetime friendship but also the start of a musical dynasty, leading ultimately to their being enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The pair founded the Rolling Stones as a rhythm and blues and jazz group when they were still in their teens and never looked back, although it wasn’t until they changed their style to straight rock in 1964 that they really hit their stride, mostly on songs written by Richards, the biggest (and longest-lasting) hit being I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.

Despite their image as the “anti-Beatles” – a counter to that "other" wildly popular British boy band of the day – “It was a very, very fruitful and great relationship between the Stones and The Beatles. It was very, very friendly,” Richards said.

While writing music is his forte’, Richards also wrote his autobiography and memoir Life, which was a worldwide bestseller and showed remarkable command of writing style.  But, like some of his songs, it was jabbed at by some critics as being a bit ambiguous, to which Richards replied,  “I look for ambiguity when I'm writing, because life is ambiguous.”

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