Keith Richards: read the interview the world is talking about in full

Read the full piece, including how Keith snorted his father, on NME.COM now

It’s the interview the whole world is talking about today (April 4) – Keith Richards telling NME what rock ‘n’ roll has taught him.

And yes, this is the interview where the guitar legend admits to snorting the ashes of his own father.

The article features in this week’s issue of NME – on UK newsstands now – which also includes:


* A comprehensive on the road feature with My Chemical Romance on their UK tour

* Glastonbury Festival’s reaction to the news Noel Gallagher wants to play this year’s bash

* Look behind the secrets of Arctic Monkeys’ new album sleeve

all that plus our comprehensive gig guide and reviews section.

Now on NME.COM you can read our Keith Richards interview in full, as The Rolling Stones‘ guitarist tells us what rock ‘n’ roll has taught him

The biggest cliché in rock’n’roll is…


There’s no roll

“They forgot the roll and they only kept the rock. The roll’s the whole damn thing dude, the rock is nothing, deal with it, the roll is king. Unfortunately most cats don’t get behind the roll.”

The three things I guarantee I’ll never do again are…

1) Heroin

“The one thing I’ll never do is the dope. I won’t do that again. Everything else is up for grabs. Why wouldn’t I do the dope again? Because I’ve been there and done that, and it’s fucking painful, man. The other schmucks are doing it all the time and I pity them.”

2) Climb coconut trees

“I wasn’t climbing a tree [when he fell, suffering concussion and subsequently having to undergo brain surgery], I was sitting on a fucking shrub. I was sitting on that shrub again today, but I happened to fall off it the wrong way that day.”

3) Be trepanned

“I wouldn’t want to do that again. It’s having your fucking skull cut open. It’s what I had to go through. Yes, I’ve been trepanned. That’s quite an interesting experience, especially for my brain surgeon,

who saw my thoughts flying around in my brain. I’ve got pictures of it mate, yeah. They cut my head, brain, skull open, went in and pulled out the crap, and put some of it back in again. But that’s the way it is, I mean, shit, Keith Richards has got to do everything once.”

Never trust anyone…

Who tells you you’ve six months to live

“I mean some doctor told me I had six months to live and I went to their funeral. The obit columns are of quite an interest to me these days. I don’t trust doctors. It’s not to say there ain’t some good ones, but on a general level, no, I wouldn’t trust ’em at all.”

You don’t know the meaning of the dark side until…

It goes really bad

“Then you never wake up to find out. Several times I’ve thought, ‘This is it.’ And it’s quite a comforting feeling, actually, thinking, ‘Jesus Christ I’m getting out of it now.’ I’ve no pretensions about immortality – I’m the same as everyone else – same as you, same as everybody, I’m the same old bugger, just kind of lucky. I was Number 1 on the Who’s Likely To Die list for 10 years, I mean I was really disappointed when I fell off the list.”

My favourite new band is…

I ain’t got any, they’re all a load of crap

“Everyone’s a load of crap. They’re all trying to be somebody else and they ain’t being themselves. The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party? Load of crap, load a crap. Posers, rubbish. There ain’t nothing out there that’s worth shit. I listen to the real shit, I don’t listen to bullshit. I listen to my shit, baby, Motörhead, reggae, Moroccan music. All kinds of shit.”

The band I most wish I was in is…

The Rolling Stones

“They’re the only band I care about, I can’t wait to get back on the road with those bastards, who happen to miraculously be one of the best bands in the world. I dunno how the hell it happened. I mean you’re playing beside Charlie Watts – yeah baby, you’ve gotta gig on. We’re doing the Isle Of Wight this summer and that great, it’s only down the road – I live in West Wittering, so it’s just across the bay, you know.”

The best guitar solo ever committed to record is…

Chuck Berry’s solo on ‘Little Queenie’

“I mean, whoooah! His guitar playing is just so sublime. But then

I could go with Scotty Moore and his solo on ‘Mystery Train’ with Elvis, when you start me on this shit you really start me going. I’ll go on all night.”

The best time I’ve ever had on drugs was…

I can’t remember

“It’s those nights you forget, but you know what happened because there are 15 other people telling you that you were hanging naked upside down from the chandelier. The other best bit is the morning after, when you wake up and realise you’ve had a great time. I mean drugs have got really nothing to do with life. Drugs are there if you want them, and it’s not a big fucking deal.”

The worst time I’ve had on drugs was…

When someone put strychnine in my dope

“It was in Switzerland. I was totally comatose, but I was totally awake,

I could listen to everyone, and they were like, ‘He’s dead, he’s dead!’ waving their fingers and pushing me about, and I was thinking, ‘I’m not dead!’. So that’s sort of the worst one. But I got out of that, I mean otherwise I wouldn’t be talking to you. But yeah, bad shit is bad shit. The strangest thing I’ve tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father. He was cremated and I couldn’t resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn’t have cared, he didn’t give a shit.

It went down pretty well, and I’m still alive.”

The actor I’d most like to play me in a film is…

Johnny Depp

Johnny and I had a great time, loads of fun. I expected [filming the third ‘Pirates Of The Carribean’ movie, ‘At World’s End’] to be fun but it was even more fun than I had imagined. I was driving through the driveway to Walt Disney studios the other day thinking, ‘Jesus Christ, I’m following in the footsteps of Mickey Mouse here.’ No, it was brilliant, I was there for four or five days and I did my bit, and Johnny was his usual graceful self and we’re both the same size, so we swapped clothes and there it is. I met Johnny and he was just another one of my son’s friends, ‘This is Brian, this is Debbie, this is Johnny’, and we met like that, years ago. I didn’t even know what he did, I thought he was a failed rock’n’roll artist, and then I started to see some of his work and then he called me up said, ‘Hey Jesus Christ, I’ve copied you to do ‘Pirates…’,’ which I thought was the gentlemanly way of letting me know. I mean no wonder he paid for all the beers. I didn’t realise I was being observed.”

The best thing I ever saw was…

When a lady’s got her legs wide open. La-di-da

“I don’t wanna go there because I’d have to name the ladies and there’s far too many. I mean I did go there, but I ain’t going there with you.”

My best advice to young bands is…

Grow up

“I mean who do you think you’re gonna be? It’s a matter of finding out who you wanna be. So to a band, I don’t care how old or young they are, find out who you wanna be. If they wanna just be famous, or a star, that’s easy, for a day or two, if you wanna be in a band then you’d better check out the shit all the way back. My advice for Pete Doherty in particular, though, is that he should shut the fuck up and leave her [Kate Moss] alone. I don’t know the man, all I know is he’s pushing his luck, and there it is, but so is Kate, who I know very well. Kate wants to play with bad boys, and she’s done one, and then another one, and then another one. Badabing, badabang, badaboom! She’ll live, the boys will die. It’s just copycat bullshit. I did it because that was the way I did it, now people think it’s a way of life.”

I want to make a record as good as…

‘Heartbreak Hotel’

“I mean there’s a million of them. I guess ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’’s got to be close, and ‘Beast Of Burden’ maybe, yeah, and ‘Tumbling Dice’, ‘Honky Tonk Women’. I’m starting to reel them off and it’s not fair to all my other babies.”

The coolest rock star in the world, ever is…


“I mean, right, it goes without saying really, doesn’t it? I mean

I don’t think I’m cool, it’s other people that tell me I’m cool, I’m just being who I am. Just be yourself is all I can say, the rest of it’s a fucking joke. ‘Elegantly wasted’ blah-blah-blah, I’ve had all of that. If you’ve gotta be cool be cool with yourself. If you’ve gotta think about being cool, you ain’t cool.”

I would never have my hair cut like…

Anyone except me

“I’ve never had my hair cut by anybody, I do it all myself. I’ve never let anybody touch it. My mum used to give me two shillings and sixpence every two weeks to get my hair cut, and I would just ignore the barber and chop it off myself and keep the fucking money. Spent it on cigs. And a bit of booze, probably, and I’d try and impress a bird here or there, too.”

I’ll stop playing when…

I croak

“That’s it. I don’t see any reason why it should stop if there’s those of ’em still out there that wanna see it and I wanna play it, let’s get it together. I mean I get antsy just sitting in one place for too long. I’ve had a few brushes with old death, he’s kind of a friend of mine, actually, and er, if you hang around me you’ll have a brush with it too.”

Interviewer Mark Beaumont blogs about his brush with the legend Keith Richards. Read via the link and leave a comment on the whole media storm.

Read the blog