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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wisdom from Keith Richards

This interview by Michael Hainey is in GQ. Excerpt:
Is there one moment in your life that you will always remember above all others?

The Marlborough Street thing, when the judge’s gavel hit the table and “Ten pounds for the charge!” [In 1973 he and Anita Pallenberg were busted at their London home for drug possession.] That was a seminal moment when I thought I was going to jail. You try saying “Guilty” twenty-five times. I could get very spiritual here, but I’ll never forget walking out for lunch that day.

Where’d you go?
Somewhere where the cops weren’t going. I never saw myself being a target for the system. And suddenly you realize you are. It never occurred to me that just because I did a little of this [he pretends he’s injecting his arm] or took a little of that [he mimes a toke], that I was gonna get this heat, you know? And then I realized I’d been targeted. And then your mind takes on other things. I still look out the window to see if there are any unmarked cars. [laughs] It puts fear in you. Suddenly, you feel like a criminal.

Did you ever talk with John Lennon about that?
Yes. He felt he was hunted. That it was high-profile hunting. And then you realize that it doesn’t really matter if you’re doing it or not. They’ll shove it in your pocket. And you think, It’s not a game now. This isn’t just rock ’n’ roll. They’re afraid of you. And that was the thing that intrigued me. They’re actually frightened. I mean, I grew up in the British Empire and bop-bop-bop God Save the Queen, and you realize this whole edifice actually thinks you’re a threat to it? And you realize how paranoid they must be that if they get rid of a guitar player or two, everything’s gonna be cool in the empire? All they did was illustrate their fragility.

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