The Rolling Stones Guitarist Finds a Path to Sobriety
YOU CAN’T ALWAYS get what you want — and in Keith Richards’ case, that means booze. “It’s been about a year now,” the legendary hedonist says of the date when he cut back on drinking. “I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it.” While he admits he still has “a glass of wine occasionally and a beer…it was time to quit. Just like all the other stuff.” For the most part, Keith doesn’t “notice any difference really — except for I don’t drink. I wasn’t feeling [right]. I’ve done it. I didn’t want that anymore.” At least one of his bandmates has noticed a change. “He’s a pleasure to work with,” says fellow guitarist Ron Wood. “The Keith that we used to know and love had this cutoff point where if he had one more, he’d go over the top and he’d be nasty. The cutoff point became shorter and shorter, and he realized that.” Ron adds Keith is “much more mellow. He’s open to more ideas. Whereas before I’d kind of grit my teeth and go, ‘He’s gonna give me some s--- for saying this.’ Now he’ll say, ‘That’s cool, man.’ ”
“It was interesting to play sober,” Keith, 75, said of the band’s recent tour.