Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bricklayer's Arms (2)

Let's listen to Keith Richards for a little bit longer:

So he's playin' this Pinetop and St. Louis Jimmy shit and I'm following this piano walkin' and there is Stu in little leather shorts. He's playin' this shit, but obviously he's not particularly thinkin' about it - he's staring intently out of the window and I don't know...I'm trying to figure out what the fuck it is. I didn't want to disturb him 'cause he's playing this great shit and I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to be doing there because I already know that I'm the Chuck Berry player and he don't think shit of me. I know this. I mean I've already got the vibes from other guys that I'm some rock 'n' roller and I'm not a bluesman. I should be working the ballrooms.

It's touch and go...and I realize that he is staring at his bicycle which is propped up against the wall across the street so that nobody steals it. He could do that. He could play security and incredible boogie woogie at the same time. I still haven't said anything; I just slipped into the room and he doesn't know I'm there, I got the guitar under the arm, still watching him, I don't want to break his music, and I hear him go, "Cor, look at that". I crane my neck a bit around behind him and here's one of the strippers walking down the road, and he hadn't dropped a beat.

I'd just seen him a couple of times with Korner, he would come up and do a couple of numbers, but to me this guy is The Boss. I'm just a kid like crawling in, and I don't even have the balls to cough, or go back out and knock. So I'm just standing there for five or ten minutes, and every now and again he would go, "Oh. look at that". Immediately I'm in love with this guy and - I'm still not sure whether to interrupt him, because I've already found out more about him, in just a few minutes...I mean now I've really fucked up because I've got to get out of here and now I'm like spying. It's like catching some guy jerking off. Finally he stopped and turned and said, "Oh, you're the Chuck Berry artist". I knew I was under heavy penalties.

Source: Stanley Booth, Keith: Till I Roll Over Dead, Headline Book Publishing, London, 1994.

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