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"Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: August 12, 2017 00:47

I just read this nice story and I thought it would be worth sharing here.

‘So Keith Richards Says to Me…’ Kevin Fitzgerald on his life with the wild things

Posted August 11, 2017 by Duncan Strauss



When you visit your veterinarian, the expectation is that the doctor will listen intently as you describe the symptoms of your sick pet.

But if your veterinarian happens to be Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, you might prefer him to do the talking.

Not that Fitzgerald isn’t a caring, conscientious vet. Heck, he’s highly esteemed, and enormously experienced–he’s been practicing for 35 years.

But even if you were holding your ailing puppy in your lap, and wanted to get the dog treated as soon as possible, it’s still possible you’d ask Fitzgerald to regale you with another story from his colorful life.

Like the time the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards gave him career advice–which he followed, by going to veterinary school.

Wait. What?

Sure, it sounds like a fanciful, improbable tale. But it’s absolutely true.

It’s probably important to hear the backstory to Keef offering Fitzgerald this earnest and influential career counseling.

Kevin Fitzgerald grew up in Denver, where, as kids, he and his brothers were big guys–and boxers. One day, in 1969, legendary concert promoters Bill Graham and Barry Fey saw them fight, and hired them to do security for touring bands.

“As a little boy from Denver, it was a nice way to see the world,” Fitzgerald recalled in a May Talking Animals interview.

“The first tour I was on was The Flying Burrito Brothers, a country rock act with the great Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons. From there, I did Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass. And from there, I did The Rolling Stones.”

Boy, did he. He worked security for The Stones on the 1969, 1972, 1978, 1981, 1989, and 1995 tours-employed by them for 25 years. He loved the experience, and loved the band. Still does. “They’re great guys,” he said, all but gushing, “and nothing happens that’s not scheduled. Working for them was kind of like working for the Army. There was a big difference working for other bands, then going to work with them, because it was so orchestrated and so organized.”

Fitzgerald explained that each band member takes on a key responsibility during a tour, and Keith Richards’ bailiwick is overseeing security and bouncers. “He pays you himself at the end of the tour,” Fitzgerald said.

“And at the end of the ’78 tour, he says ‘you’ve been with us since ’69, ’72, ’75, now ’78. This isn’t going to last forever, you know. The public’s fickle. We could be like flavor of the month. You need to do something with your life. I’ll help you, I’ll write letters, do whatever. You need to go to school, do something else. You can’t be a bouncer when you’re 50."

When he got back to Denver, he thought seriously about Keith’s guidance, pondered his passions–“I always liked science and medicine and animals and people”–and applied to veterinary school. “I got in,” he said. “Keith’s letter [of recommendation] is probably on a wall somewhere.”

Richards clearly saw something in Fitzgerald, even if the guitarist would, at first blush, seem a most unlikely mentor–especially if that mentoring involved an entreaty to get out of rock ‘n’ roll.

“I think I’ve been lucky–I’m kind of like Forest Gump with my life, you know?” he said, laughing heartily. “Sometimes an older person will take an interest in a younger person, and shepherd them. I think that’s what happened to me.”

Clearly, Richards recognized significant potential that Fitzgerald wasn’t tapping while working on these Stones tours. “Yeah, he’s the hippest cat in the world,” he agreed. “When he says something, you listen.”

Similarly, if you were in Dr. Fitzgerald’s exam room, you’d likely be inclined to listen to his stories accumulated over a quarter century on the road with The Rolling Stones. It’s very possible these could include some sordid tales–after all, this is The Stones we’re talking about, but Fitzgerald doesn’t appear to be someone inclined to bounce-and-tell.

He does share a story that played out played out nightly during those ’70s stadium shows–and presents a rarely-seen side of Mick Jagger. In those days, Fitzgerald explained, concert-goers in wheelchairs were all grouped together in an elevated section: “When the lights go off, the kids jump down and all run down on to the floor, to get closer to the stage. And you really can’t have the wheelchair people down low, because they’d get bumped out of their chairs, you’re behind a barricade and you can’t protect them.”

Still, while this arrangement was required by venues and concert promoters to ensure safety, The Stones’ camp didn’t like the way it isolated this group of fans.

“So every show, all the years I worked,” Fitzgerald remembered, “Jagger would always say ‘Where are they?’ I’d say, section 323.’ He’d say ‘How many chairs?’ I’d say ’23 chairs.’ And so I’d run him through the guts of the place, put a hood on him or a towel, and sneak him up to the place to where the kids were. He wouldn’t be able to stay and talk to them; well sometimes he would, but I would get 23 cassette tapes and 23 t-shirts if there were 23 chairs.

“And he’d run down and put a t-shirt and a cassette tape on everybody’s lap, and say ‘Thanks for coming.’ He didn’t do it as a photo op. He didn’t do it and tell anybody. He just did it. When we were walking back he’d say, ‘Did you ever think of it? How come? You have this big body, you get to bounce for us, I get to sing and dance. Why aren’t we in chairs?’

“He said “We must never forget how lucky we are.’ Here’s this guy who had such a gifted and charmed life, but he didn’t forget.”

You could argue that Fitzgerald’s lived a gifted and charmed life, too.

Because if you were a patient of his–well, technically, if your pet was a patient of his–even if you’d heard all the Stones stories, or imposed an embargo on those, Fitzgerald would still have plenty of distinctive yarns he could spin, especially compared with most veterinarians. For starters, if you were in his office at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital, it’s possible you’d know that he starred in Emergency Vets, the long-running reality series that aired on Animal Planet, and was filmed at Alameda East. The hospital was also the site of a follow-up Animal Planet series featuring Fitzgerald, E-Vet Interns.

He’s spent his entire career at Alameda, and in emergency medicine. What drew him to that specialty, and kept him there?

“Emergency room doctors are kind of like adrenaline junkies,” he said. “You don’t know what’s going to come in, and you have to wear a lot of different hats. You need to keep sharp. It’s challenging…You can do the most good when you can help people. And a lot of the time, they’re not real emergencies: The dog drank the blue toiler water, and he’s going to be fine. An 80-pound Lab that ate one Hershey’s Kiss doesn’t need his stomach pumped.”

So, you might think that after the Rolling Stones stories and the reality TV star stories, Fitzgerald would be out of tales that distinguish him from other veterinarians.

You’d be wrong: he’s also a professional comedian. While in college, through the father of a roommate, he submitted jokes for Johnny Carson to use in his monologue on The Tonight Show.

In 1986, he launched his stand-up career, and has since appeared on numerous television shows, worked with such comics as Joan Rivers, Kevin Nealon and Norm MacDonald, opened for an array of bands.

And amidst the demands of his busy day job, he manages to perform upwards of 100 corporate stand-up dates each year. (“Veterinary medicine lends itself well to humor. One woman asked me ‘What do I give a Great Dane with diarrhea?’ I said ‘Plenty of room.’”)

And, if that weren’t colorful and distinctive enough, Fitzgerald, under the auspices of The Denver Zoo, engages in significant conservation efforts that have taken him to Mongolia, Vietnam, Botswana, Peru–endeavors that have helped protect some species against predators, have restored the population of additional species, have trained a slew of wildlife biologists and wildlife veterinarians in those locations, among other virtues.

The conservation work underscores that, when all is said and done, Fitzgerald is fundamentally an animal guy. And if you took your ailing pet to see him, you’d be in exceptionally good hands.

Still, during that appointment, there might well be some surprising, scintillating conversations along the way to sorting out what’s troubling your animal.

[www.wmnf.org]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-08-12 12:03 by Cristiano Radtke.

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: Send It To me ()
Date: August 12, 2017 01:28

Nice story, thanks for posting

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: August 12, 2017 01:35

Very nice story, thanks Cristiano. thumbs up

Before opening thread, I thought it might be a story from Mick giving thanks and credit to Keith for some type of guitar playing advice.

.
.
_____________________________________________________________
Nothing to do, nowhere to go...you're talkin' to people that you don't know....

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: MonkeyMan2000 ()
Date: August 12, 2017 01:40

Quote
Hairball
Very nice story, thanks Cristiano. thumbs up

Before opening thread, I thought it might be a story from Mick giving thanks and credit to Keith for some type of guitar playing advice.

That we agree on, Mick probably couldn't play as good as he does and wouldn't have written classics like Brown Sugar, Sway and Moonlight Mile without Keith thumbs up



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-08-12 01:41 by MonkeyMan2000.

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: August 12, 2017 01:44

Fanks Cristiano .... nice story ....

Reminds me of Peter Noone telling how Keith told him to get off drugs or he'd dob him into his mum ...

ROCKMAN

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: August 12, 2017 01:46

Quote
MonkeyMan2000
Quote
Hairball
Very nice story, thanks Cristiano. thumbs up

Before opening thread, I thought it might be a story from Mick giving thanks and credit to Keith for some type of guitar playing advice.

That we agree on, Mick probably couldn't play as good as he does and wouldn't have written classics like Brown Sugar, Sway and Moonlight Mile without Keith thumbs up

We probably agree on more things than not - in the end we're all Stones fans on one level or another. thumbs up

.
.
_____________________________________________________________
Nothing to do, nowhere to go...you're talkin' to people that you don't know....

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: August 12, 2017 01:48

Quote
Rockman
Fanks Cristiano .... nice story ....

Reminds me of Peter Noone telling how Keith told him to get off drugs or he'd dob him into his mum ...

Mrs. Noone you've got a naughty boychild... spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: MonkeyMan2000 ()
Date: August 12, 2017 01:54

Great story. Funny how Keith doesn't recommend the things to other people he's most famous for - dismissal of school and drugs...
Well, not that surprising, considering Keith was father of two by 1978....



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-08-12 01:55 by MonkeyMan2000.

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: August 12, 2017 01:55

Mrs. Noone you've got a naughty boychild...

No milk today .... hhhhaaaaaaaaa

ROCKMAN

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: mtaylor ()
Date: August 12, 2017 02:01

Quote
Hairball
Very nice story, thanks Cristiano. thumbs up

Before opening thread, I thought it might be a story from Mick giving thanks and credit to Keith for some type of guitar playing advice.

Or, Keith saying "thank you" to Mick keeping Stones alive despite the the band being on drugs and nowhere to go!!

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: wonderboy ()
Date: August 12, 2017 02:09

I have this visual of Keith peeling off hundred dollar bills to pay the roadies after the tour.

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: HankM ()
Date: August 12, 2017 03:08

fugetboutdarestoifit... the best part of this story is...
---------------------------------

He does share a story that played out played out nightly during those ’70s stadium shows–and presents a rarely-seen side of Mick Jagger. In those days, Fitzgerald explained, concert-goers in wheelchairs were all grouped together in an elevated section: “When the lights go off, the kids jump down and all run down on to the floor, to get closer to the stage. And you really can’t have the wheelchair people down low, because they’d get bumped out of their chairs, you’re behind a barricade and you can’t protect them.”

Still, while this arrangement was required by venues and concert promoters to ensure safety, The Stones’ camp didn’t like the way it isolated this group of fans.

“So every show, all the years I worked,” Fitzgerald remembered, “Jagger would always say ‘Where are they?’ I’d say, section 323.’ He’d say ‘How many chairs?’ I’d say ’23 chairs.’ And so I’d run him through the guts of the place, put a hood on him or a towel, and sneak him up to the place to where the kids were. He wouldn’t be able to stay and talk to them; well sometimes he would, but I would get 23 cassette tapes and 23 t-shirts if there were 23 chairs.

“And he’d run down and put a t-shirt and a cassette tape on everybody’s lap, and say ‘Thanks for coming.’ He didn’t do it as a photo op. He didn’t do it and tell anybody. He just did it. When we were walking back he’d say, ‘Did you ever think of it? How come? You have this big body, you get to bounce for us, I get to sing and dance. Why aren’t we in chairs?’

“He said “We must never forget how lucky we are.’ Here’s this guy who had such a gifted and charmed life, but he didn’t forget.”

----------------------------
smiling smiley


All the crap that get tossed at Mick (and the others) for thisthatandtheother... and how they are so greedyblahblah... that is a bucnh of BS. I dont know the inside facts but I always felt that Mick (and the otehrs) do their fair share (or more) when it comes to giving back... they just dont go around blabbing about it like most people do.

This thing Mick did at every show... and to hear that he understands the cosmos and what is/who is lucky... and trying to be kind to these people "in chairs" makes it more special for them. That is FKG RIGHT ON MICK!!

And I never heard of this... which I think is totally cool.

Thanks (again) for another great post CR smileys with beer


smileys with beer CHEERS smileys with beer MICKFKGJAGGER!!! smileys with beer

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: Rocky Dijon ()
Date: August 12, 2017 03:30

That was great. Mick said in a TV interview from the 1980s that they all do charity work, they just don't like to publicize it. There's a story of a roadie who became a physician (not a vet) because Keith told him to knock off trying to imitate him and do something with his life. There's Keith intervening to help Ivan Neville after Aaron asked him to help.

When I was a kid, my hometown newspaper carried a story about a woman who was left crippled as a teenager at the Stones concert in Cleveland, Ohio in 1964. She fell from the balcony when the crowd surged forward in their excitement. The Mayor of Cleveland banned them from returning (the ban was lifted in 1966), but the band saw to it she received free tickets to every Cleveland show thereafter. It was a news story in 1981, but I asked Jane Scott, a local legend who reported on rock in Cleveland for decades, and she told me that the same woman was at the Steel Wheels show as well courtesy of the band. Much like the blind angel story from the 1970s, it seems they have good hearts alongside the greed and hedonism. Most people aren't one-dimensional. Why it's even possible that Mick and Keith could be exceptional songwriters and musicians despite both having limitations.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-08-12 03:32 by Rocky Dijon.

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: Aquamarine ()
Date: August 12, 2017 09:35

Thanks, Cristiano!

I loved the new-to-me detail that "each band member takes on a key responsibility during a tour." I spent ages speculating about this, like is Charlie in charge of catering? Mick covers front-of-house merch sales while Bill's in charge of transportation? Ronnie/Mick T organize hotel rooms? The possibilities are endless.

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Date: August 12, 2017 10:49

Quote
Rocky Dijon
That was great. Mick said in a TV interview from the 1980s that they all do charity work, they just don't like to publicize it. There's a story of a roadie who became a physician (not a vet) because Keith told him to knock off trying to imitate him and do something with his life. There's Keith intervening to help Ivan Neville after Aaron asked him to help.

When I was a kid, my hometown newspaper carried a story about a woman who was left crippled as a teenager at the Stones concert in Cleveland, Ohio in 1964. She fell from the balcony when the crowd surged forward in their excitement. The Mayor of Cleveland banned them from returning (the ban was lifted in 1966), but the band saw to it she received free tickets to every Cleveland show thereafter. It was a news story in 1981, but I asked Jane Scott, a local legend who reported on rock in Cleveland for decades, and she told me that the same woman was at the Steel Wheels show as well courtesy of the band. Much like the blind angel story from the 1970s, it seems they have good hearts alongside the greed and hedonism. Most people aren't one-dimensional. Why it's even possible that Mick and Keith could be exceptional songwriters and musicians despite both having limitations.

thumbs up

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: August 12, 2017 22:08

Quote
HankM

All the crap that get tossed at Mick (and the others) for thisthatandtheother... and how they are so greedyblahblah... that is a bucnh of BS. I dont know the inside facts but I always felt that Mick (and the otehrs) do their fair share (or more) when it comes to giving back... they just dont go around blabbing about it like most people do.

This and also the fact they offered Don Covay a "special needs" chair at the end of his lfie when the man was disabled.

Re: "Keith Richards gave me a career advice"
Posted by: schillid ()
Date: August 12, 2017 23:32

Cool story...
And now whenever a bitch is in the exam room, he salivates like a Pavlov dog.




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