Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How is Keith Richards Still Alive?

"At 66, Keith Richards' continued survival is a source of widespread bafflement.

According to addiction expert Dr Robert Lefever, director of the Promis recovery centre in Richards' native Kent, there is only one possible explanation for his longevity: "He must have the constitution of an ox."

But Richards' own memoirs suggest he may have been more careful with his intake than his bacchanalian public persona implies.

The autobiography, Life, is candid about the scope of his notorious drug-taking during his lengthy career as the Rolling Stones' lead guitarist and co-songwriter.

"I used to walk down Oxford Street with a slab of hash as big as a skateboard," drawls a typical passage.

Richards describes hurtling around swinging London fuelled by speedballs, a cocktail of cocaine and heroin he refers to with his customary louche archness as "the breakfast of champions".

He claims that during the notorious Redlands raid of 1967, he allowed the police into his home in Sussex because he was under the misapprehension, as a result of copious quantities of LSD, that the officers were dwarves "wearing dark blue, with shiny bits and helmets".

And although he gave up heroin in 1978 after being busted five times, he did not finally stop taking cocaine until 2006 after the coconut tree incident required him to undergo brain surgery.

Yet along the way he also managed to have the wherewithal to produce some of the greatest and most memorable rock albums of all time, inspiring generations as both a guitarist and a songwriter."

Excerpted from the BBC News. Read the rest of the story here.

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