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csalisbury's picture

My connection to Keith Richards goes back some 30 odd years, when as a sophomore in high school I was asked by a girl, 'anyone ever tell you, you look like Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones?'. Being new to the school and somewhat of a geek at the time, I shyly laughed it off, never to be approached by that girl again. Shit, had I played my cards right, picked up a guitar, immersed myself in all things Stones, who knows how life might have turned out.

As it was, I was a Stones fan. Not huge, as this was New England in the early 80's, with local bands Aerosmith, Boston, The Cars, The J Geils Band occupying most of the radio. Eventually, I did end up with a Tattoo You album, which got a lot of play before my musical tastes moved on.

Fast forward those 30 years, and I end up back on a Keith Richards' website. That story goes like this... middle-aged man entering his second mid-life crisis chooses wisely to resist screwing up his second marriage with infidelity by recommitting himself to learn guitar.

I've always wanted to learn guitar. Not just chords and scales, but become an actual player. Over the years I'd start, and stop. Start and stop. Spend decent money on acoustic guitars only to play them for 3 months and then convert them into decor.

Anyway, with this latest attempt, I wanted to model my guitar playing after a rhythm guitarist (earlier attempts at copying Stevie Ray Vaughn made it clear I might not be cut out for lead). One internet search later on 'greatest rhythm guitarists', and there sitting at number two was Keith Richards.

Keith Richards. My mind immediately goes back to high school, and then to Tattoo You, and before you know it, I'm digging up all kinds of information on the internet... 'Keith played in open G', 'Keith only played 5 strings', 'Keith didn't use effects'. Everything I read affirmed Keith as both a great and simple guitarist, with much of his greatness due to his simplicity. I thought... I can handle simple.

So here I am.

My Comments

I see a lot of similarities between myself and Gus. As a father of four girls, I look forward to a grandson to break the estrogen streak and allow me to pass down male wisdom. It's obvious that Keith treasures the relationship he had with his grandfather. Grandparents can help fill the gap that parents inevitably create with their own children (parents are often too close to family situations, and too inexperienced with which to deal with them.). I didn't have that type of grandparent, but I certainly see the value and plan to be that type when my time comes.

Best wishes to the Richards family!

Replied To: Ask Keith Special Edition #6 (Blog)
On: Mar 11, 2015