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I miss Charlie’s generous smile

“I’ve been very steady over the last few months,” reported rock ‘n’ roll survivor Keith Richards.

At the age of 78, the Rolling Stones rascal knew he had to take care of himself.

I miss Charlie's cheeky smile - his death was a real blow, says Keith Richards

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I miss Charlie’s cheeky smile – his death was a real blow, says Keith RichardsCredit: J. Bouquet

With a huge European tour coming up on the band’s incredible 60th anniversary, staying healthy is a priority for Richards.

He dropped his favorite Marlboro Reds a while ago and now, alcohol is also “off the table”.

But he has no intention of stopping what he loves most. . . Music.

“All that remains for me is to move on,” he decided in that wonderfully ethereal voice. There’s really no other option.

“When you’ve been doing it for that long, the body does it naturally. In fact, it could get dodgy if I don’t. ”

Richards is still dealing with the loss of his beloved bandmate Charlie Watts, who passed away last August at the age of 80.

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“I’m still recovering,” he admitted. “Charlie keeps cropping and all that comes to my mind is the little smile I love when I get out of him.

“Yes, man, it was a real hit but at the same time, things had to move on. Steve Jordan replacing him is also something else. ”

Richards is working on a 30th anniversary re-release of his second solo album with drummer Jordan and the rest of another band, X-Pensive Winos, called Main Offender.

In the second part of the conversation, he shares about his health, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, the upcoming year for the Stones, Paul McCartney and even the terrible situation in Ukraine.

‘We used to have pandemics. Had enough!’

Anyone who has followed the bandana-wearing guitarist will be familiar with him on stage, in the studio, doing interviews, engulfed in cigarette smoke. . . but no more.

“At first, I didn’t notice a difference when I stopped smoking,” he reveals.

“People say to me, ‘Woah, you give up, you have to do so much better?’, but I don’t feel like that’s what!

“That was absolutely true until the moment I started training for the (rescheduled US) tour last year and realized that my lungs are working so much harder than before.

“Vocals have more intervals and better stamina.”

It was a light moment for rock’s lovely high roller.

“Finally, I have a reward for giving up. . . Here is it! (Cue one of his infectious shackles).

Richards adds: “This energy comes a bit late, but I’m enjoying it. Other than that, the old story is still the same, I keep ticking.”

I asked him if he had an exercise routine. “No, no, no, God forbid!” he cries. “Sometimes I do a little bit on the bike, a little bit on the treadmill but, I mean, nothing to write home about.

“Mick is someone who has a habit of exercising. He’s a gym man, you know. His father is a Gymnastics instructor.

“Last year Ronnie was quite sick but he didn’t really do much. His old lady might take him out for a walk every now and then, like me, but that’s the thing. Otherwise, the stage work helps you stay in shape.”

Keith Richards is happier than ever with long-term partner Patti Hansen

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Keith Richards is happier than ever with long-term partner Patti HansenCredit: Rex

Richards is referring to Wood’s third wife, Sally, mother of twin daughters and his own “wonderful” partner of 40 years, Patti Hansen, rock music and the love of his life.

He says he and his fellow Stones can’t wait for a “Sixty” tour that includes two outings at London’s Hyde Park BST and one at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium.

“Oh my, 60 years or not, I’m looking forward to that,” he growled.

“I expect to have a lot of fun. It’s been four years since we last played in England. Time seems to shrink down these days and we’ve got all the pandemics. . . had enough!”

People say to me, ‘Woah! You quit smoking, you must be better? ‘ but I didn’t feel it anything! Then, when I rehearsed last year, I realized my lungs were working so much harder.

Keith Richards on quitting smoking

With two years of Covid leading straight into Russia’s fierce war over Ukraine, Richards says the world “gives the impression of disintegration”.

“The Ukraine situation, I mean, is crazy,” he exclaimed. Putin no longer potty. All that aggravation and grief, for what? For one’s whim? Get out!”

I remind Richards that The Stones played in Moscow in the late 90s and St Petersburg in the Noughties.

“There was a lot of hope back then but it was short-lived,” he said.

“The Russian people have to govern themselves.

“They’ve always been terrible at it, first with all those tsars and then with communism – a great idea.

“They seem to like dictators but they cause the rest of the world a lot of grief so everyone needs to work it out together.

“Escape from the man. Vote for him or use any other means! ”

Keith says there's no hard feelings about 60s rivals The Beatles

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Keith says there’s no hard feelings about 60s rivals The BeatlesCredit: Getty – Contributor

On a more cheerful note, Richards addresses the tension between the Stones and Beatles legend Paul McCartney, who was recently quoted as saying that his 60s rivals were “a blues cover band”.

He said: “The first time I heard about it was from Paul himself.

“He sent a message before it came out, saying, ‘Listen, they’re going to say I said this in an interview but it’s all completely messed up and made up, I really do. apologies’.

“We all know what that is like, Paul, so forget it.”

I told Richards that Macca was making headlines in Glastonbury on the same night as their first show in Hyde Park. “I didn’t know that,” he admitted.

“But we are a generation of hell, which is amazing.

“I mean The Beatles and the Stones. . . great bands and we’re still playing 60 years later. “

Although these two artists spent most of the Swinging Sixties vying for No1 in the singles and album charts, Richards was pleased with his interest in the Fab Four.

“We probably wouldn’t have gotten through on our own if it weren’t for The Beatles knocking on the door and opening that door first,” he said.

“They are not ready for us. Sent the boys with the suits first. They are great forerunners.

“Without them, nothing else would have happened in the ’60s. British music wasn’t going anywhere until The Beatles came along.”

Both bands came to the scene with their debt to American rock ‘n’ roll, particularly Chuck Berry’s guitar approach.

Keith took pictures in Belgium in 1976. He said he couldn't wait to go back to Hyde Park

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Keith took pictures in Belgium in 1976. He said he couldn’t wait to go back to Hyde ParkCredit: Redferns

‘Playing Hyde Park is awesome’

Richards suggests that they are very different beasts: “The Beatles are more about harmony and vocals, while we are more about instruments, vocals and band.

“And we’re from Dartford and they’re from Liverpool!”

Although the Stones produced a number of self-written hit singles in the mid-60s like (I Can’t Get No) Satisatis, Get Off Of My Cloud and Paint It Black, they took a bit longer than the Beatles. little to make your progress. .

Richards identifies their work from 1968 to 1972 as a golden age.

“The period from the beggar party to the exile on Main St. great in my memory,” he said.

Those years also produced the great pairing, Let It Bleed (1969) and Sticky Fingers (1971), bringing tribute from the riff master to Jimmy Miller, the late American producer, who he said was the “an incredible cat to work with”.

Of course, 1969 was a pivotal year for the Stones for another reason, the departure and subsequent death of Brian Jones.

Two days after his death, the band performed their first concert at Hyde Park.

It became a tribute to their lost old friend and an experimental start for new guitarist Mick Taylor.

Richards recalls: “Breaking Taylor was my main focus that day.

“It was his first time playing with the Stones and there were half a million people in front of him. That’s very wonderful!

“That afternoon seemed to go by so quickly. I remember some butterflies being released, I remember Mick (Jagger) wearing a white dress.

“Also, I’m focusing with Taylor and Charlie on the sound because the scale of Hyde Park is so big. Now we will go back there. ”

It’s poignant that the upcoming gigs on June 25 and July 3 follow the death of another Rolling Stone.

But Richards has a trusted friend and X-Pensive Wino Jordan collaborator to fill the shoes of Charlie Watts.

“Of course, Steve came with Charlie’s recommendation,” he said.

“He brings a new dynamic to the band, as we discovered in the US, and I’m really looking forward to being with him this year.

“He could play as a clone of Charlie but he wouldn’t. It would be a mix of himself and Charlie’s style that he understood and loved so much. ”

Richards confirmed that Jordan also participated in cutting tracks with Jagger and himself for their long-awaited next studio album, their first with original material since A Bigger Bang in 2005.

“The Stones continues and so does the new record,” declared rock’s most invincible star.

Speaking of his best pirate quote, he added: “But first, we had to do the tour. See you soon, Simon! ”

  • Main Offender 30th Anniversary Editions are now available in box set, vinyl and CD formats.
Main Offender 30th Anniversary Editions are on sale now

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Main Offender 30th Anniversary Editions are on sale nowCredit:

https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/4929144/keith-richards-charlie-rolling-stones/ I miss Charlie’s generous smile

Aila Slisco

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