"I've lived my life in my own way,
and I am here because
I've taken the trouble
to find out who I am. "

[Stones 1964]

Keith Richards from Keith Richards The Biography by Victor Bockris

  • December 18, 1943 Keith Richards was born to Doris Dupree & Bert Richards in Livingstone Hospital Dartford, Kent, England
  • June 1944 Keith's family was evacuated from their house at 33 Chastillian Rd. to Mansfield, Nottinghamshire after their house was hit by a V-1 during WW II.
  • Keith's mother described him as a child as being a bit of a mama's boy & a crybaby. Keith had in fact 6 aunts & was nearly always surrounded by women. He picked up his early music skills from his mother who listened to Billy Eckstine & Ella Fitzgerald. Doris claims that Keith had perfect pitch from the age of two. Keith enjoyed drawing, reading & going to Saturday matinee movies as a child, and English & history were his favorite subjects. At that time Keith read every book on America he could find. He also had a fascination for Nazi & war stories, which continues to this day. And Keith was a Roy Rogers fan, complete with a cowboy hat.
  • In 1951 Keith began attending Wentworth Primary School, which is where he says he first met Mick Jagger. Keith was described by his teachers as likable, timid, bright and attentive. Keith used to go to a tennis club in the summer with his dad. Keith even once tried playing the sax, but it was his grandfather, Gus Dupree who introduced him to the guitar.
  • In 1954 The Richards moved from Chastillian Road to 6 Spielman Rd. Keith described his new place as "a fucking soul-destroying concrete jungle...". It was there that he spent the majority of his childhood & teens.
  • Keith was sent to Dartford Tech while Mick was sent to a grammar school. They would not meet again for 6 years.
  • Keith began to hate school around this time & get into fights, but then around 1956 as Keith says "Rock & Roll hit England like Hiroshima!"
  • Believe it or not, Keith was a talented choir singer (he sang for the Queen!) around this time & even a leader of a boy scout troop!
  • But, at age 14 his voice broke & he was booted from the choir. Then his grandfather took him into the world of music & guitar playing.
  • In 1959 after many "incidents" at school, Keith was finally expelled. But, because the headmaster saw some talent in Keith's drawing & painting, he sent him to Sidcup Art College.
  • This was the perfect time for Keith to be at art school because between 1959-62 guys such as John Lennon, Ray Davies, Pete Townshend, Jimmy Page, David Bowie & Ronnie Wood were also at art school.
  • Keith met Dick Taylor who played in the pre-cursor to the Stones & later formed The Pretty Things.
  • Keith was turned on to all kinds of music & polished his guitar playing while there. Of course we've all heard the story of how Keith met Mick again in 1961 on the train platform & Mick was carrying some Muddy Waters & Chuck Berry records, which caught Keith's eye. This led to an immediate reforming of their childhood friendship. And, to make a long story short, when Keith left art school in 1962 he was already playing in a hot new band called The Rolling Stones! The rest shall we say is history :-)


    [Concert For the Blind button]

    -sources Keith Richards The Biography by Victor Bockris, Keith Standing In The Shadows by Stanley Booth, Keith Richards Life As A Rolling Stones by Barbara Charone, Keith Richards In His Own Words by Mick St. Michael

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