In the past few years a number of rock legends have picked up the proverbial pen to set the record straight on their personal stories. Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Sting have all told their tales in book form, and this year has seen a lot of icons hit a new venue – the book store. So, just in time for the holidays, we’re offering brief takes on some of 2012’s best rock tomes.
THE DEAL: You might not recognize Bobby Keys if you passed him on the street, and you might not know his name. But you know his horn. One of the most ubiquitous saxophone players in rock and roll history, he’s played for Clapton, George Harrison, Joe Cocker, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Warren Zevon, Sheryl Crow and, most famously, The Rolling Stones. Here, he tells his story, a fascinating insider’s take of a number of legendary artists.
AUTHOR: Bobby Keys with Bill Ditenhafter; Keith Richards wrote the foreword
RELEASE DATE: February 2012
THREE THINGS WE LEARNED:
- His first live rock and roll experience was hearing Buddy Holly and his band (before he’d formed the Crickets) outside his grandparents’ house. They were playing at a grand opening of a gas station. RELATED: Bobby Keys Tells CBS Local About The Crickets
- Bobby and Keith Richards played at Bruce Willis’ most recent wedding in 2009. “I got a call from Keith to come down to his place in Turks and Caicos to hang out… throwing in, ‘Bring your horn, we might have a gig.'” When he was hanging out with Richards, drummer Steve Jordan and Willis (“he and Keith had become friends because Bruce was also a pot-smoker”). “After about five or ten minutes into the conversation, it came up that Bruce was getting married the next day and that Keith and Steve and I were gonna play.” They ended up doing a three song set; Jordan “just had a cardboard box to bang on.” They played “Harlem Nocturne,” “Sleepwalk” and backed up Willis’ daughter Rumer on “You Are My Sunshine.”
- Keith Richards had to sneak Keys into the Stones’ touring band for their 1989 Steel Wheels tour. Jagger still harbored a grudge against Keys for leaving a Stones tour in the ’70s (he left so he could quit heroin). When he bumped into the singer at rehearsals, “Mick looked at me and asked, ‘What’re you doin’ here?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, Keith called.’ I don’t remember what Mick said after that. I think he just turned around on his heel and walked away. He never spoke to me once for that entire tour. Apparently, he was still upset with me for having quite the tour years ago, but also because I was in Keith’s camp and not his. His attitude to this day has only slightly mellowed.”
Keys’ story is ongoing: He’s still playing sax with the Rolling Stones’ touring band, and also plays gigs with his own band, the Suffering Bastards.
— Brian Ives, CBS Local