A translation, done with [www.DeepL.com
] :Keith Richards about his quiet family life: 'We're sitting here at home in a family bubble'.EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW - No drink or drugs, but a neat, almost civil family life. Keith Richards (76) is no longer the old one. This newspaper spoke exclusively to the guitarist of the Rolling Stones, who was eager to find his first electric guitar.Alexander van Eenennaam 14-11-20, 07:00 Last update: 08:29
Keith Richards delivers the rendezvous to the minute. "Hi, it's Keith, how are you?", it sounds on the phone. The world famous British guitarist of the Rolling Stones is calling from his home in Weston, Connecticut, USA, and sounds friendly and relaxed when he answers the same question. "Well, it's just like everyone else here: I sit at home and try to do as little as possible. It's rather boring.''
His voice is a bit gritty, the advanced age sounds in it. The reason for the phone call of just under half an hour is the re-release, yesterday, of his 1988 live concert at the Hollywood Palladium with the X-pensive Winos, the occasional band he led as guitarist and singer in the late 80s.
It was in the years that things didn't work out between Richards and Mick Jagger, a conflict that was settled a few years later so that the Stones became a band again. "Even now, at a distance, I keep in good contact with both the other Stones and the Winos. I had actually forgotten about that 1988 show until I heard it again. A nice concert. It was also in that hall; good acoustics, a real rock stage''.In your autobiography Life you also mentioned Paradiso in Amsterdam in that respect. Thanks to your performance in 1995, that hall still has a second balcony ring.
Yes, we had an extra balcony installed there, I remember, I didn't know that was permanent. Paradiso is also a wonderful venue, although I don't remember the details. But anyway, I've also had quite a few performances''.Speaking of which: the Rolling Stones were going to tour this year.
That's right. Just before that, everything fell silent. A bit frustrating, I must say. I'm assuming we'll go on tour as soon as the coronary pandemic is over. We're waiting for the starting shot.''How do you fill the days now? Walking with the dogs?
"Well, they take a walk with me. We have two French bulldogs, Honey and Sugar. I have to find one quite often. Dogs are fantastic, I've always had them since the 60s. These two have a long line of predecessors. We don't do much at the moment, oddly enough I don't do much reading either, which is a big hobby of mine. I don't know why, it must be the unrest about corona. I sometimes watch a movie''Can you see your loved ones and friends?
Yes, every day. We sit here at home in a family bubble. My wife Patti is here, but also my daughters Theodora and Alexandra are here, as well as my son-in-law Zack and some friends''.I imagine you play the guitar at night by the stove?
No, it's the other way around, they play music for me. My daughters are like DJs, they play all kinds of things. All I have to do is hang back and listen.''Are you further engaged in music?
As usual I try to write some songs and listen to reggae, blues, jazz, swingbands from the 40's. I play less contemporary music, although I am charmed by the Teskey Brothers, Australian brothers who sound very soulful. And I also regularly listen to the new Rolling Stones tracks we made just before the pandemic broke out''.The single Living in a ghost town came out in the spring, but you had more ready?
About half an album. Without that virus it would have been finished by now, we would have wanted to release it about this time. Unfortunately, hopefully that's something for next year. Now I'm listening to the songs we already have. I can't do much with them, a bit of thinking about the production, how we want it to sound. We can't go into the studio right now''.Are you afraid of getting infected with corona?
Yes, who isn't? I'm careful, like everyone else. I wear a mouth mask when I go outside, keep my distance from people and wash my hands often. If we all do that, hopefully the virus will disappear all the faster. Things are much worse for you in Europe, aren't they? It's going to be a very hard winter, let's hope it looks better in the new year''.What are you looking forward to the most?
Performing again. When you stand in front of a crowd of tens of thousands of fans and you start, you take off. On a good evening you really float above that stage. I miss that so much.In the Netherlands, the Rolling Stones exhibition Unzipped will open soon. What is your favourite item?
"The replica of the old, messy flat where the whole band lived, in Chelsea. That looks authentic in the exhibition. I've seen the exhibition in London, where it started. I understand now that it has ended up in Amsterdam?''No, in the Groninger Museum, in the north of the country.
Oh, I always think of Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Nice places we've always liked. In Rotterdam we recorded the first version of the song Start me up in the 1970s.What do you remember about that?
Laughing: ,,Hotel, studio, hotel. As it always goes during the recording. But nice city, you know''Which lost museum piece from your career would you like to have back?
"That would be my first electric guitar. That wasn't an expensive one, not a Gibson or Fender. Just a beautiful, old thing. I don't know what happened to it, from the moment I started making money, I bought Gibsons. But I would like it back out of pure nostalgia. I don't remember exactly how I got it or how I lost it, although I think I traded it for some records. What I would also like to find back is the original cassette tape on which I played Satisfaction for the first time at night. A melody that came to me in my sleep. That tape has also been lost, although it's still being searched for''.You're never going to find it again, are you?
You never know, things sometimes have the habit of disappearing and appearing suddenly after many years. I hope one day I'll find it at the bottom of some suitcase.''Do you still have a personal or musical bucket list?
"No, I don't make any more lists. After a grating smile: "My bucket is full."You have indeed led a life for three or four people. And now your life can almost be called good?
"I think you're right about that. It does feel that way. My life is much calmer, not as wild as it used to be. For a normal person that makes sense, for me it's actually very weird. But I'm used to it and I'm happy with every new day. Although this year it's just as spicy.''Finally: when the Stones will be touring again, do you promise to visit the Netherlands as well?
Of course, why not? I want to go anywhere, as long as I can travel again. Let's hope that it will be possible in 2021. This year's lesson is that we must not take anything for granted and that we must be prepared, because who knows what misery they will throw in our path next time? Take care, pal!
The double album Live at the Hollywood Palladium by Keith Richards and the X-pensive Winos is available in a new release. There is also a luxury box containing LPs, CDs, a DVD and all kinds of extras.