15 Keith Richards Quotes That Are as True Now as They Were Then

Keith Richards. The name alone carries with it mountainous legends that seem to defy the bounds of maximum human and artistic potential.

The man has been around for a minute. He’s seen a thing or two, and he certainly has some larger-than-life stories to tell. Just in case you didn’t know though, Keith Richards is an acclaimed English musician, songwriter, singer, and record producer. He’s an original member, guitarist, secondary vocalist, and co-principal songwriter of that humble band, The Rolling Stones. It was his songwriting partnership with The Rolling Stones’ lead vocalist, Mick Jagger, that would end up being one of the most successful of all time. We’ll take a look at some of the most infamous quotes from Keith Richards himself.

1. On the origins of good music

A person with wavy, medium-length hair, wearing a dark shirt, and an earring is speaking while looking slightly downwards. A framed picture hangs on the light blue wall in the background.
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“Good music comes out of people playing together, knowing what they want to do and going for it. You have to sweat over it and bug it to death. You can’t do it by pushing buttons and watching a TV screen.”

2. On the rock ‘n’ roll life

A person with long, dark hair is touching their face with their hand. They are wearing a ring on their left hand and appear to be deep in thought. They are dressed in a white shirt and a dark vest. The background is blurry and indistinct.
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“This is the rock ‘n’ roll life, and you had to invent it as you went along. There was no textbook to say, how you operate this machinery.”

3. On part of the writing process

A person with curly hair wearing a light-colored jacket and a white shirt is seated and smiling. They rest their hand on their cheek, wearing a bracelet and ring. A red and white logo is partially visible in the background.
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“I look for ambiguity when I’m writing because life is ambiguous.”

4. On the weird nature of songwriting

An older person with long, gray-brown hair tied back and wearing a rainbow-striped headband smiles at the camera. They are dressed in a black leather jacket, with blue background panels visible behind them.
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“Songwriting’s a weird game. I never intended to become one. I fell into this by mistake, and I can’t get out of it. It fascinates me. I like to point out the rawer points of life.”

5. On being mindful of the ego

A person with short, dark, tousled hair and a big smile is shown in a close-up shot. They are wearing a dark jacket over a green shirt. The background is slightly blurred, with hints of a window and foliage outside.
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“To me, my biggest fear is getting a big head, and that is when I get the hammer. Because it’s very easy in this game to believe you’re something special.”

6. On self-reflection

An older individual with gray, tousled hair and a black headband is speaking or being interviewed. They are wearing a light green jacket, a maroon shirt, and a necklace, set against a background with vertical dark stripes.
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“About myself I have no great illusions. I know what I am. I know what I’m good at. I know what I ain’t. I’m always hoping to surprise myself. But I do have a love of music and I do love to communicate it, and that’s the best I can do, really. And I can raise a good family, too.”

7. On haircuts

A man with gray hair is smiling while sitting indoors. He is wearing a gray fedora hat, a dark suit, a navy blue shirt with small white dots, and has an orange scarf draped over his shoulder. The background shows a blurred room setting with some books and a countertop.
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“I’ve never had my hair cut by anybody, I do it all myself.”

8. On the necessity of music

An older man wearing dark aviator sunglasses, a black hat, patterned blue and white scarf, and a leather jacket is standing in front of a storefront with neon lights. He has an earring in one ear and a slight smile.
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“Music is a necessity. After food, air, water, and warmth, music is the next necessity of life.”

9. On storytelling

An older person with a weathered face, wearing a fedora hat and a leather jacket, sits in a dimly lit room, possibly a recording studio. The individual has a contemplative expression with visible recording equipment in the background.
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“Everybody’s got a different way of telling a story, and has different stories to tell.”

10. On style

A person with disheveled gray hair and wearing a black and white patterned headband and sunglasses smiles. The background is out of focus, with warm lighting and an ornate design visible.
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“You don’t find a style. A style finds you.”

11. On aging

An older man with a weathered appearance is playing a guitar while wearing a gray fedora and a blue shirt. The background is dimly lit, and a microphone stand is visible in the foreground.
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“We age not by holding on to youth, but by letting ourselves grow and embracing whatever youthful parts remain.”

12. On true friends

A person with a weathered face, grey hair, and a slight smile is wearing a black hat and a leather jacket. The background is dimly lit and out of focus.
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“True friends. Hardest thing to find, but you never look for them. They found you. You just grow into each other.”

13. On the motivation to write songs

An older man with gray hair wearing a hat, sunglasses, navy jacket with dragon embroidery, and a dark shirt stands in front of a house with a staircase and metal railings. The background includes part of a red brick building and some greenery.
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“What is it that makes you want to write songs? In a way, you want to stretch yourself into another people’s hearts. You want to plant yourself there, or at least get a resonance, where other people become a bigger instrument than the one you’re playing.”

14. On Keith Richards himself

An older person with gray, disheveled hair and a wide smile sits in a brown leather chair. They are wearing a blue shirt and a necklace. The background has a translucent blue cloth draped over a light source, creating a softly lit, cozy atmosphere.
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“Some things get better with age. Like me.”

15. On being alone

A man with gray hair, wearing sunglasses and a headband, relaxes on an outdoor wicker chair. He is smiling broadly and dressed casually in an open shirt and jeans. Lush greenery is in the background, suggesting a garden or park setting.
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“I’ve never had inner turmoil about all this. You find a lot of people these days who cannot stand to be alone. You could lock me up in solitary for weeks on end, and I’d keep myself amused.”

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