Life is a non-fiction book; a memoir by the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. The book was written with the help of Journalist James Fox. It was published in October, 2010 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (UK) and Little, Brown and Company (US). The work comes in hard book, audio CD, and e-book. The 564 pages book tells Richard’s love of music, charting influences from his mother and maternal grandfather, his discovery of blues music, and the founding of the Rolling stones. It also discussed his relationship with Mick Jagger and other issues.
It was reported that the book US publisher, Little, Brown and Company paid an advance of $7.3 million, after seeing a ten-page extract. The co-writer James Fox was said to have interviewed Richards and his associates over a period of five years to produce the book. Life was well received by critics all over and also topped the New York Times non-fiction list in the first week of release. The audio book Life won two prestigious awards for 2010. It claimed the Audio book of the year and Best Biography/Memoir. It was also voted Amazon’s No.1 Audio book of the year for 2010. In 2011, Life also received the year’s Norman Mailer Prize for biography.
Life covers Keith Richard’s life, starting from his younger days in Dartford, Kent, through to his success with the Rolling Stone and his current life in Connecticut. His musical was triggered by his mother, Doris, who played records of top artistes and his maternal grandfather, Augustus Theodore Dupree, a former big band player who encouraged him to learn the guitar.
The book also discusses his relationship with Mick Jagger, who he had known as a teen in primary school. He discussed that they both shared a love of blues music. Richards shared the same flat in London with Jagger and Brian Jones in the early 1960s. The book chronicles the founding of the Rolling Stones in 1962 together with Bill Wyman, Ian Stewart, and Charlie Watts. The group played gigs at Ealing Jazz Club and the Crawdaddy club.
Life explained Richard’s career with the Stones since 1962 extensively from their rise from playing small gigs to stadium concerts. Richard’s drug habits, arrests, and convictions, as well as relationships with a number of women including Anita Pallenberg and Patti Hansen, whom he married in 1983, are covered in detail. His often difficult partnership with Mick Jagger is x-rayed throughout the work. Other non-Rolling stones musical projects of Richards such as the X-pensive Winos, recording with the Wingless Angels in Jamaica, and collaborations with other artistes are covered in some detail.