March 12, 2014

Keith Richards Writes A Story Book For Children


And why not? After all these years Keith Richards has a lot to tell us.
I especially like this clip which accompanied the article.So much of interest there.
OF all the role models parents might wish their children to have, Keith Richards is probably some way down the list.

The Rolling Stone, who wrote in his memoirs that he "used to walk down Oxford Street with a slab of hash as big as a skateboard", is appealing to children, nonetheless, with a new children's book based on his experiences with his grandfather, a man almost as roguish as Richards himself.

Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar will be a sanitised retelling of the guitarist's encounters with Theodore Augustus Dupree, an adulterous musician who not only gave Richards his first guitar, but his first cigarette.

It is based on a passage from Life, Richards's memoir, but has been adapted by Barnaby Harris and Bill Shapiro. It will be illustrated by Theodora Dupree Richards, the musician's daughter, whom Richards named after his grandfather.

The Rolling Stone, who is still touring with his band at the age of 70, is one of a stream of celebrities to turn their hand - or at least lend their name - to a children's book. Ringo Starr, the former Beatle, gave permission for his song Octopus's Garden to be turned into a book in October last year, resulting in sales of 7,000 copies worth $96,000. Madonna's 16 titles, including the English Roses series, have made almost $2.6 million.

Actors have been even more successful. Ricky Gervais's Flanimals series has made $8.5 million and David Walliams's books $36 million, according to figures compiled today by Nielsen BookScan.

Orion plans to publish Richards's book on September 9. It will also include photographs from the Richards family albums.

The singer said that he wanted to celebrate the bond between children and their grandparents.

"I have just become a grandfather for the fifth time, so I know what I'm talking about," he said. "This is a story of one of those magical moments. May I be as great a grandfather as Gus was to me."

Orion declined to mention whether the book would include Richards's recollections of his grandfather waving used condoms at his daughters' suitors and how Dupree's wife "caught him bonking an ARP warden in a blackout". Richards wrote in Life that "Gus" Dupree would take his grandson and his dog, Mr Thompson Wooft, on long walks to get away from his wife.

"On New Cross station late at night in deep fog, Gus gave me my first dog-end to smoke," he wrote. "He never drank, that I can recall. But he must have done something. We never hit pubs. But he would disappear into the back rooms of shops quite frequently. I perused the merchandise with glowing eyes. He'd come out with the same."

The most decisive moment was when Dupree handed Richards his guitar. "I can't remember when it was that he took the guitar down and said, 'Here you go.' Maybe I was nine or ten, so I started pretty late. A gut-string classical Spanish guitar - a sweet, lovely little lady. Although I didn't know what the hell to do with it. The smell of it. Even now, to open a guitar case, when it's an old wooden guitar, I could crawl in and close the lid."

Dupree, a factory worker who played violin, was once a saxophonist, but claimed that he had to give up when his lungs were damaged in a gas attack during the First World War, Richards wrote. "Gus wasn't much of a guitar player himself, but he knew the basics. He showed me the major chord shapes, D and G and E. 
He said, 'Play Malaguena, you can play anything.' By the time he said 'I think you're getting the hang of it,' I was pretty happy."

With thanks to The Australian.(Pay-wall)


This picture and more with thanks to the NZ Herald

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