Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beast of Burden (Keith Richards)

I've always admired Keith Richards. The epitome of sex and drugs and rock and roll is still alive. I tried to read his new book because I've heard the rumors over the years, the changing of the blood to beat addiction, the animosity between him and Mick. I wanted to know his take on Brian Jones and if the stories about his death were true. I was really curious to hear things from his perspective. Really, I did try to read it. But then I couldn't decide– did he write like a guitarist, riffing on an idea, or did he write like someone who was stoned and rambling? In any case, I thought he needed a better editor, and I only got halfway through.

Mick and Keith at the Palladium, 1978

I photographed Keith onstage with the Stones, at a party, and with his own project, the New Barbarians. I scanned this shot from a Stones concert in 1978. The one thing I have to say about photographing the Rolling Stones is that it is almost impossible to take your eyes off Mick Jagger to shoot someone else in the band. He is that mesmerizing onstage. Even when you're sitting on some stranger's lap in the third row. (That's a whole other story and I promise I'll get to it later.) So even though this shot has Keith in it, I really think of it more as a photo of Mick.

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