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Keith Richards claims he was forced into a solo career


Keith Richards maintains that he would never have gone solo if Mick Jagger hadn't briefly abandoned the Rolling Stones to record on his own. Richards scored the highest charting album of his solo career, with the recent Crosseyed Heart collection, which hit Number 11 on the Billboard 200 album chart, with the album's lead single, "Trouble," going all the way to Number 20 on the Billboard Adult Alternative chart.

Richards recalled his '80s solo work to GQ magazine, saying, "I only did my records because (Mick) wasn't working with us. (It) had something to do with ego. He really had nothing to say. What did he have, two albums? She's The Boss and Primitive Cool?”

Richards, who forgot about Jagger’s third album, 1993’s Wandering Spirit and 2001’s Goddess In The Doorway, asked GQ: "Have you listened to any of those records?" When the interviewer responded, "No," Richards added: "Nor have I. I'll leave it at that. For me, I never thought of making records as a way of being famous or making a statement. I just want to make good records with good musicians, to play with the best and learn."

As chronicled in depth within the pages of his 2010 autobiography, Life, Keith Richards' now 46-year-old son Marlon, accompanied his dad on the road across the globe during the Stones' heyday and witnessed the darkest moments of Keith's heroin addiction. When pressed about the unorthodox childhood Marlon had, Keith admitted: "Of course it was hard on him, growing up like Gypsies, outlaws, nomads. No education. On the road. It's amazing what kids can adapt to. It all comes out in the wash. And anyway, we didn't really do anything that wrong. I mean, he could have grown up the son of health-nut freaks."

Marlon now has three kids of his own whom Keith dotes upon: "I don't care how cool and hip and whatever you think you are. You get down the line, baby, what counts is family. This is what I did it for."

To his credit, throughout even the darkest days of his addictions, Richards was committed to staying a hands-on dad. Stones insider Bill German, the author of Under Their Thumb — How A Nice Boy From Brooklyn Got Mixed Up With The Rolling Stones And Lived To Tell About It, maintains that if you met Marlon Richards today, you'd never have an inkling as to what his childhood was like: "I was surprised at how well he turned out, 'cause I read the same stories that you've read (laughs), 'y'know? Like in my old Creem magazines from the early-'70s, how they took Marlon out on the road and he's staying up 'til four, five o'clock in the morning and, y'know, Stevie Wonder's band is jamming in the hotel room while Marlon's trying to sleep. (Laughs) Let alone all the drug taking his father was doing at the time — and drinking. But Marlon, turned out pretty well-adjusted, I was really surprised."

The Rolling Stones tour dates (subject to change):

February 3 – Santiago, Chile – Estadio Nacional
February 7, 10, 13 – Buenos Aires, Argentina – Estadio Unico Ciudad De La Plata
February 16 – Montevideo, Uruguay – Estadio Centenario
February 20 – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil – Maracana Stadium
February 24, 27 – Sao Paulo, Brazil – Estadio Cicero Pompeu de Toledo
March 2 – Porto Alegre, Brazil – Estadio Beira-Rio
March 6 – Lima, Peru – Estadio Monumental U
March 10 – Bogota, Colombia – Estadio El Campin
March 14 – Mexico City, Mexico – Foro Sol

Side Notes:

Out now is the Rolling Stones' new 24-track set — The Rolling Stones: Live At Leeds Roundhay Park – 1982 — captures the band's July 25th, 1982 European tour closer and their last official concert in over seven years.

The band's 36-date European tour varied slightly from the band's 1981 North American trek the previous fall. Veteran keyboardist Ian Stewart and sax man Bobby Keys were still on board, but Faces co-founder Ian McLagan's four-year tenure with the band was over and was replaced by pianist — and current musical director — Chuck Leavell. Gene Barge replaced Ernie Watts on tenor saxophone.

The tracklist to The Rolling Stones: Live At Leeds Roundhay Park – 1982 is: "Under My Thumb," "When The Whip Comes Down," "Let's Spend The Night Together," "Shattered," "Neighbours," "Black Limousine," "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)," "Twenty Flight Rock," "Going To A Go-Go," "Let Me Go," "Time Is On My Side," "Beast Of Burden," "You Can't Always Get What You Want," Band Intros, "Little T&A," "Angie," "Tumbling Dice," "She's So Cold," "Hang Fire," "Miss You," "Honky Tonk Women," "Brown Sugar," "Start Me Up," "Jumpin' Jack Flash," and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."

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