{ Start Me Up } ~ Keith Richards

The 'better' half of the famous 'Glimmer Twins', Richards is, for many, the heart and soul of the self-proclaimed "Greatest Rock 'n'  Roll Band in the World", the Rolling Stones.

While Jagger was very much a musician who kept up with the fads and is credited with pushing the Stones into hybrid genres, Richards remained steadfast in his dedication to Rock.  This is partly why so many gravitate to him: he is authentic and singular in his vision and it deflects some of the harsher critics of the band who see the Stones as too commercialized.

In interviews, you quickly discover a very knowledgeable musician who knows his history of Rhythm and Blues, Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, Country and Rock which belies the 'caricature' some have of him  {Johnny Depp is on record as stating his inspiration for his character,  Jack Sparrow, was Keith Richards].

I remember reading an article on guitarists where they rated the top 10 guitarists.  Richards was right up there with his idol, Chuck Berry.  Noticeable for their absence were Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page.  The point that was being made: the 'arty' guitarists who indulged in narcissistic showmanship didn't get the fundamental point of Rock: it's about the Rhythm and driving a band forward and people on to the dance floor.  Richards certainly understood this fact.  Not many people hum a Hendrix or Page solo [outside of guitarists maybe]; but Satisfaction or Start Me Up? most definitely.  This also played itself out in the studio.  If Richards had his druthers there were less tracks, less 'takes' and stay true to the 'live', unedited rawness that is Rock.

With that in mind, a quick charcoal sketch done in 45 minutes of Keith Richards on his birthday.  Long Live Keith!


Popular Posts