KEITH RICHARD AND BEING THE HUMAN RIFF 1
(Source: Wiki)

Like George Harrison, Keith Richard was and is not the greatest guitarist in the world, but, like late Beatle, The Coolest Man In The World has given us some of the greatest guitar riffs in music.

KEITH RICHARD AND BEING THE HUMAN RIFF 2
(Source: Chzbgr)

Sure, they are nothing as Byzantine in Moby Dick sonic boom proportions as Jimmy Page’s Whole Love intro or the opening riffs that ran through Hendrix’s Purple Haze and Clapton’s Layla, but always and forever, those brilliant start-me-ups that gave birth to Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Women, Street Fighting Man, Jumping Jack Flash and the wonderfully eerie Gimme Shelter gave those songs a voice and an energy for Mick to spit out the words while wagging those brown sugar-coated sticky fingers.

KEITH RICHARD AND BEING THE HUMAN RIFF 3
(Source: All Time Top Five)

That intro to Gimme Shelter is not just about the riff- it’s the sound- the VIBE- as Keith sets up the mood for the great Merry Clayton to come through and warn about some impending storm and terminal Armageddon and how it’s all just a shot away, shot away, shot away.

Like much of what John Lennon said through his music, Gimme Shelter is a chillingly prophetic song when one thinks about when it was written and all the senseless shootings that keep being repeated, especially in the US and through the political power wielded by the NRA.

Whereas George Harrison created the incredibly hooky pop openings to Drive My Car, Ticket To Ride, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Here Comes The Sun, the feedbacked I Feel Fine, Daytripper and the one chord that changed a world on A Hard Days Night, his work was the bright yin to Keith’s dark yang.

Were these two creative guitarists friends? Everyone was in those days who thought nothing of sharing ideas and jamming together with some recordings by the two lost somewhere in the past.

Hell, on even the Stones’ version of the Beatles’ I Wanna Be Your Man, Keith’s basic but effective intro gave the track a certain sense of danger.

Danger and Keith Richard have gone hand-in-hand- the drug busts, the guns, the occult, his friendship with the Hell’s Angels, Altamont, the many women, the bouts with alcohol and drug- and through it all, a true Rock’n Roll renegade whose gunslinger approach to music has inspired so many. Even Johnny Depp has morphed into Keith.

While Mick Jagger has evolved into a sprightly 70-year-old Sir Mick, there is no Sir Keith- just a once shy, young guitarist who played second fiddle to Brian Jones before stepping forward and through various storms taking the Stones in a new musical direction while becoming an ageless rock hero who should have left this world years ago.

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(Source: BP Fallon)

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(Source: Gig Wise)

Living on borrowed time? More like just living in the NOW with a don’t give a fuck attitude.

Keith Richard commands attention and respect by expecting nothing in return other than having his guitar and simply being up onstage and playing his arse off.

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