HARDBARNED! The Blog

Keef Versus The Prince of Darkness

I finished Keith Richards' autobiography Life recently, thinking it might be a good time, as I had laughed out loud all the way through Ozzy's thoroughly hilarious memoir I Am Ozzy. 

Though I admit to being a bit of an Oz fan, I was never a big Stones listener, but I always liked them better than the Beatles and was interested in their history. I can't say that Life had as many laughs (Keith didn't blow away his pet chickens with a shotgun--not cool but funny to read about, sorry PETA--or pour seven pints of cognac into his wedding cake batter, but he did stay awake for nine days on a bender and pass out for three more underneath a recording console and wake up during a random band's session).

Life was engaging if occasionally rambling. I can't quite lavish the praise Liz Phair manages in her NYTimes review, but I enjoyed it. 'Keef' also gave an entertaining interview to Terry Gross when the book came out late last year.

I really liked the bits about writing songs, recording and touring. The pure love for the music this man espouses cannot be disputed, and his various encounters with just about every influential blues and rock musician (mainstream and otherwise) from the 50s through the 70s is unparalleled.

Of course there was plenty of band drama, drug drama and lady drama, and it's as scattered and disheveled a memoir as the man himself appears to be, but overall I'd still recommend it highly as a window into a fascinating life that has significantly impacted rock history.

I've never seen the Rolling Stones, though I did once deliver a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries to their hotel room. They weren't there.

I saw Ozzy live twice. Once in 1992 with Alice In Chains and Sepultura (awesome) and once in 06 or 07 with the original Black Sabbath lineup. Not quite so awesome.

Ozzy kept forgetting the lyrics to all the classic songs. Whenever he couldn't think of what to sing next, he'd grab a bucket of water from a stagehand, dump it over his head, and yell "I love you! I love you! I love you!" into the mic until he caught up with the rest of the band.

I still think that John Mayer and Jason Mraz should fight to the death in a cage match, but maybe Keef and Oz should collaborate on a side project.

Keith points out his lack of appreciation for punk rock, but he never gets after the metal crowd, and even though he never mentions Ozzy, I somehow think these two would make a hell of  a songwriting team. They just seem like they're made for each other, don't you think?