Somebody recently asked me this question: If you could spend a day with any celebrity from any period of history, not including Dave Grohl, who would it be?
I thought for a while, because obviously Dave would be my first choice. There are so many people I admire and would love to talk to, but I couldn’t figure out who would be the one I’d most like to hang out with.
My answer was Keith Richards. Yeah, definitely Keith. We would have the best conversations about our love of music, because, like Dave Grohl, Keith is a music fan above anything else. We have the same influences, Chuck Berry being the main one. He seems like a super chill guy to spend the day with.
Why didn’t I say Paul McCartney? I mean, as legendary as the Stones are, The Beatles paved the way. Why not hang out with Paul? He seems like a down to earth guy, I mean, he’s a Beatle and he’s totally aware of how much people idolize him, but he’s not a cocky asshole about it. He’d probably be lots of fun to talk to as well! He also loves Chuck Berry, and I share his love for Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers. Surely we would have a day’s worth of topics to discuss.
But I think I’d be too freaked out to talk to Paul. I saw him in concert about 12 years ago, and I was just like one of those hysterical girls in the audience at The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964! I could not believe I was in the room with Paul McCartney. It was just too much. But he gave us a great show, over three hours long, and he played every single song you would want to hear him play.
I knew who Paul was before I knew who Keith was. I started listening to Beatles and Stones records at age 5, but since my Mom had more Beatles albums I became far more familiar with individual Beatles than I did with members of the Stones. Mick was the star of the Stones, obviously, and even when I did start learning more about the band I focused more on Mick.
In recent years I have come to realize that Keith is my favorite Stone. In a previous blog (read it here) I described Mick as Posh Stone and Keith as Dead Common Stone, and I think that may be why I appreciate Keith more than I used to. It used to be more important to me to always be the center of attention, to be the most scandalous, the most talked-about. Now that I’m pretty much a recluse, I can relate more to Keith. He prefers to keep it all about the music. Clearly, he’s had his headlines and drama, but deep down he seems more shy than he may come across when he’s KEITH FUCKING RICHARDS, ROCK STAR!
My day with Keith would probably not start too early in the morning. We’d probably get lunch first, sitting somewhere with a patio so he can chain smoke. I fucking HATE smoking, but I’d worry about my asthma another time, because I want the full Keith experience!
We would most likely start off talking about me, because I already know all about him. I’d try to not be such a dorky fangirl with him, and I think he’d put me at ease quickly with his shyness and unaffected manner. I’d ask him what artists he’s listening to right now, and I’m sure we’d get into how shitty most contemporary music is. That would definitely be a bonding moment.
I’d further bond with him by telling him how much I love Chuck Berry, and that Chuck’s the reason I love rock and roll. Keith would tell me the same thing. And then we’d instantly become best friends forever!
After lunch we’d go for a walk and keep talking about Chuck. He’s enlighten me about some deep cuts I’m not aware of, and he’d give me some personal insight into Chuck as a man. I’d be hanging onto every fascinating word he said, in awe of him while also feeling a truly deep connection with him. After all, Keith is just another music fan like I am.
I probably wouldn’t talk too much about the Stones, because the purpose of spending a day with Keith Richards is not to hear inside scoop—he already wrote that book. I really just want to be a music nerd with another music nerd, having intense conversations about particular songs and artists we love. Maybe I could teach him about a few artists he’s never paid attention to. He could definitely teach me about the technical aspects of a song. And yeah, I’d totally want to play his guitar. Maybe we could write a song together.
After a tasty and healthy dinner, we’d spend the rest of the night in his studio. Of course, he’d play some stuff for me on his guitar, but more importantly, he’d play me some of his favorite records. We’d chat into the wee hours of the morning about the greatest songs in the world, singing them together and laughing at what dorks we are. At the end of it all, we’ll each have made a great friend, and I would see him as the man he really is, not a rock god.
Well, he’d still be an icon. But in my mind, he’d be first and foremost a regular guy who digs the same music I do. And that’s all I would really want in a companion for the day.