Why Rolling Stones Guitarist Keith Richards Wakes and Bakes Every Morning
Rolling Stone lead guitarist Keith Richard is as famous for his drugged-out lifestyle as for his fretmanship, but now, at the ripe old age of 71, the veteran debauchee says he has kicked all his vices except one. He still likes a bud for breakfast.
"I smoke regularly, an early morning joint. Strictly Californian," he told MOJO magazine. "One of the most pleasant things to watch is a map of America [showing states where marijuana is legal], where it goes, green... green... green. Whether it’s a good thing in the long run, I don’t know."
But for the musician once described as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know" by journalist Nick Kent, and more recently as "a capering streak of living gristle who ought to be exhibited as a warning to the young of what drugs can do to you even if you're lucky enough not to choke on your own vomit" by dyspeptic British columnist Peter Hitchens, smoking a joint for breakfast is the least of it—and the last of it.
He and big-lipped band mate Mick Jagger were the bad boys of rock in their day, with the band rolling up an impressive arrest record in the late 1960s and early '70s. The Glimmer Twins got popped for pot in London in 1967, while Richards was arrested for heroin, pot, Mandrax and drug paraphernalia in London in 1973, and popped for heroin in Toronto in 1977.
Richards said he gave up heroin after the Toronto bust, and quit using cocaine after falling from a palm tree and requiring brain surgery in 2006.
"You’re like, I’ve got the message, oh Lord. I’ve given up everything now — which is a trip in itself," he said in 2010. "I’m just waiting for them to invent something more interesting… I’m all ready to road-test it, when they do."
Richards admits he still imbibes alcohol on occasion.
"I like to keep my hand in. But other than that, I'm pretty straight," he insisted.
Well, other than that daily dank. And who's to take him to task? The man who was once the very symbol of rock 'n' roll excess is still kicking. Rock on, Keef.