In 1962, future Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alex Haley sat down with jazz musician Miles Davis for what would become an institution of American journalism—the Playboy Interview. To celebrate the Interview’s 50th anniversary, Playboy has culled 50 of its most (in)famous Interviews and will publish them over the course of 50 weekdays (from September 4, 2012 to November 12, 2012) via Amazon’s Kindle Direct platform. Here, a glimpse at our conversation with musician Keith Richards from the October 1989 issue.
“I don’t agree with that saying ‘You can count your real friends on one hand.’ If that’s so, then you ain’t farming the right acres, because friends are everywhere.”
“Mick took care of everything through most of the Seventies. The cat worked his butt off. He covered my ass. I feel I owe Mick. This is why I get mad at him. When I did clean up my act in ’77—‘OK, now I’m ready to shoulder some of the burden again. God bless you for taking it all on your shoulders when I was out there playing the freaked-out artist and getting busted.’ He supported me every fucking bit of the way. I ain’t knocking the cat at all.
But when I came back, I didn’t want to believe that Mick was enjoying the burden. He could now control the whole thing; it became a power trip. I’ve heard the shit from the john, like, ‘I wish he was a junkie again.’”
“I dreamt this riff—I don’t do that very often—and that was the first time it had happened to me. I had my guitar next to the bed and the first Philips cassette recorder, and I just woke up, picked up the guitar and…’I can’t get no… satisfaction…I can’t get no…satisfaction.…[snores]’
The only way I found it again was, the next morning, I checked out my gear, and the tape was at the wrong end; it had played all the way through. How had that happened? Had somebody come in during the night—Mick or one of the boys—and said, ‘Fuck you, Keith Richards, piece of shit’? I rewound to find out what had happened, and there was thirty seconds of Satisfaction—and sixty minutes of me snoring.”
“To me, writing songs is like making love: You need two to write a song. I’ve known Mick forty years, longer than I’ve known anybody except my parents.”
“If I knew what the original sin was, I would do it and let you know.”
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