THINK about all the men in hell over the years and you might agree that Keith Richards is rock’s “prime offender”.
Never having to shy away from his colorful past, the Rolling Stones legend chose this quote as the title of his brilliant and underrated 1992 solo album with ANOTHER band, X-Pensive Winos.
Now Main Offender is getting the full re-release treatment after 30 years, giving me another chance to talk to the lovely scammer.
Today, Richards can call himself a chaste person, having cut out drugs, pranks, and mostly alcohol – in that order.
But the old flame still burns when it comes to music, one of his great pleasures in life since stumbling upon Mick Jagger on platform two of Dartford station in 1961.
Also don’t forget that he has been devoted to his wife Patti Hansen of over 40 years.
“She was amazing,” he once told me. “I wish you all could find one like me because Patti is a piece of work.”
This week, speaking from his Connecticut home, where the couple spends a lot of their time, I discovered that the 78-year-old occasional guitarist, songwriter, and singer is hitting the heights. compared to his latest live efforts.
Last Thursday, at the Beacon Theater in New York, he reunited X-Pensive Winos in a trio of songs as part of the annual Love Rocks charity concert.
“It was fun, man,” Richards told me in that wonderful life in the fridge.
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“It is extraordinary to bring Winos back together. We haven’t played in years.”
They started with the 999 lead track, Main Offender, followed by two Rolling Stones classics on which he always took the lead vocals instead of Jagger – You Got The Silver and Before They Make Me Run.
Richards continued: “It’s Winos’ 30th anniversary and we’re on our 60th this year for the Stones, so we’re doing well for the anniversaries.”
Watching those three songs (watch the YouTube footage), they all clearly see Winos’ chemistry – more relaxed than the Stones but equally special.
“It’s one of those things that can’t be determined,” Richards mused. “I guess that’s why you’re up there doing it and why people listen to it.
“I don’t know where it came from. When you are playing with certain people, something just clicks. Maybe it’s just our blood type,” he added with a look of patience.
In his band’s introduction, Richards describes American drummer Steve Jordan as “my main man”.
Jordan has been not only Winos’ main songwriting collaborator, but also the musician who has been entrusted with drumming for the Stones since the tragic death of Charlie Watts last year. Crucially, he comes with Watts’ blessing.
Playing with the other founding members, guitarist Waddy Wachtel and keyboardist whiz Ivan Neville, but missing was bassist Charlie Drayton, who was touring with Bob Dylan. His position was taken by “Honorary Wino” Will Lee.
“They are amazing,” Richards asserts. “We are just about to have a flood.
It is one of those things that cannot be determined. I guess that’s why you’re up there doing it and why people listen to it. I don’t know where it came from. When you are playing with certain people, something just clicks. Maybe it’s just our blood type.
Keith Richards on the chemistry of his band, X-Pensive Winos
“I love the Beacon Theater and yes, I’ve been on the phone with Winos since the night before.
“We’ve all dispersed to our homes now but we’re all really enjoying ourselves. We said, ‘Come on, let’s do some more!’
“But, first thing, I had the stones.”
‘I’m having a fresh taste. I’m feeling it’
I’m speaking to Richards on the very day the Rolling Stones Sixty tour was announced, which includes two days in London’s Hyde Park, one at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium as well as other shows across Europe .
The band’s first studio album since 2005 A Bigger Bang is also on this list, so any further Winos activities are currently on hold.
But Richards wants to do more with them in the future. “I just got a fresh taste for it,” he said. “I’m feeling it!” (Cue another endearing smile.)
For those in need of a reminder, here’s a quick update on Richards’ career outside of the Stones.
In the eighties, as Jagger pursued his solo dream by recording She’s The Boss in 1985, he responded to the forced hiatus by working on his own.
“Mick wanted to spread his wings and I wanted to, but I had no wings,” explains Richards.
“So Charlie Watts said to me, ‘If you’re going to work outside of the organization, Steve Jordan is your man’.” So the pair hooked and hit it right away.
Now we’ve all spread out to our homes but we all really enjoyed it. We said, ‘Come on, let’s do some more!’ But, first man first thing, I had the stones.
Keith Richards on future gigs with Winos
First, they worked with Aretha Franklin on the Whoopi Goldberg’s Jumpin’ Jack Flash theme song and then on the Chuck Berry Hail! Sounding! Rock ‘n’ Roll.
One thing led to another and the X-Pensive Winos was born, so called because the band slammed a case of Richards’ 1936 Chateau Lafite Rothschild one evening while he was out.
In 1988, Richards released his acclaimed high-octane debut solo, complete with a song that would grace any Stones album, Take It So Hard.
He said: “Mick and I have been together for over 20 years and we both thought, ‘Let’s do what we want together and then get back together’. That’s clearly what happened. ”
Richards was followed by the Stones’ comeback album, 1989’s Steel Wheels, and a huge tour, but he still had business with Winos unfinished.
“We created Main Offender because we had so much fun doing Talk Is Cheap,” he said.
“Right after Steel Wheels, I said, ‘Let’s get Winos back together!’ I love the pleasure of working with those people. ”
Main Offender is a smooth, neat combination of rocker, reggae, deep soul and ballad. It is equipped with attractive gems like the aforementioned 999 guitar unlocker.
Richards’ memorable riffs adorn other standout hits like Wicked As It Seems and Will But You W Will, while the stinging Hate It When You Leave delivers one of his finest vocal performances. he.
I also see from the credits that the laid-back studio atmosphere produced some interesting results.
Mick and I have been together for over 20 years and we both thought, ‘Let’s do what we want together and then get back together’. That’s clearly what happened.
Keith Richards walks alone
For example, Richards switches to bass guitar in the chilled, nearly seven-minute Words Of Wonder song, which sounds like it’s been streamed live from some Jamaican club.
One of the most rewarding aspects of the Main Offender re-release is the inclusion of a live show from London’s Town & Country Club.
“I’m glad we found that,” Richards said. “For me, it’s the treasure trove of the whole thing.
“It was one of the few, maybe even only, London shows that Winos has ever done and I don’t remember we recorded it.
“I would like to thank everyone who peruses the archive for tapping into this material as it makes republishing more meaningful and more surprising.”
Listen to the show live and you can hear Main Offender songs in full bloom alongside the Stones’ Gimme Shelter songs, Before They Make Me Run (“a perennial where I go”) and Happy.
“You write the song, you record it, you take it out on the street and then everything takes on a life of its own, you know,” Richards said.
“That’s the fascinating thing about what I do. The songs keep evolving and changing and there’s still a freshness about them, which is encouraging at my age. ”
As for being a frontman, a role typically played by Jagger, Richards has grown to admire his Stones bandmate more than he probably ever did.
“When I first worked with Winos on stage, I thought, ‘Wow!’ ” he says.
You write the song, you record it, you go on the road and then everything takes on a life of its own, you know. That’s the interesting thing about what I do. The songs keep evolving and changing and there’s still something new about them, which is encouraging at my age.
Keith Richards on composing
“Suddenly I got the message of being a forerunner and a whole new appreciation of what Mick does.
“It won’t stop if you’re ahead, whereas with the Stones I can discreetly step back and hang with Charlie, then move on when I’ve chosen.
“There is no delay when you are in the lead and that takes some learning. Yes, here it is, I told you. Hats for Mick! I get it, Mick! ”
If there was some tension surrounding Jagger and Richards’ first solo break-in, it had melted away by the time it hit the Main Offender.
“The whole period had a great vibe,” later said. “Because Mick and I took a break, we got back together with a certain new respect for what each of us does. I had a really good feeling on Steel Wheels and (1994) Voodoo Lounge. They are real pleasures to carry.
“Perhaps we have realized how much we need each other. At the time, we had been doing nothing but Rolling Stones for over 20 years.
“It’s a miracle that we’ve survived this long and a bigger miracle that all that happened was the hiatus.”
As they relaunch this summer, Richards reflects on the monster that has been named the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band.
He said: “The stones seem to be a living being of its own.
“You don’t really have much control over it. It was just a case of, ‘We’ll do this, OK. We start again! ‘”
Given all of his commitment to “day work,” Richards decided it was no surprise that he didn’t do another solo album until Crosseyed Heart in 2015.
“The Stones continues,” he said. “Me too.”
For sheer tenacity during a 60-year epic career, rock music’s greatest survivor beat the likes of Ozzy and Axl to the title of “prime offender.”
https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/4921328/keith-richards-drugs-fags/ It was a Rolling Stones miracle that lasted 20 years let alone 60, says Keith Richards