Keith Richards has lent his support for Black Lives Matter and the protests that swept across the U.S. and the world over the summer.
Richards was asked for his thoughts on the movement in Rolling Stone. “It’s about bloody time,” he said. “I mean, in this country [the U.S.], things are coming to a head. That’s the way it is. You got to deal with it. It’s difficult for me to talk about it, because I am not an American. I live here, I am in heart and soul, I am one of you, but I can’t interfere.”
The Rolling Stones guitarist added that black musicians were “the reason I’m here,” and described what it was like to see James Brown in his prime up close. “James for us, especially for Mick [Jagger], was a real attraction,” he said. “That’s because Mick is the frontman, and he’s got to stand on a tiny little stage, and he wants to move. To hear James Brown and to see how he dealt with that was great, because James didn’t use a lot of the stage; he used a little small spot, and Mick learnt that he was an expert at it.”
He continued: “I’ve always said to Mick, ‘You run around too much. You should stay in that little circle because you can move there.’ It’s a unique thing. James Brown also had an extremely hip band. It was very tight. We’re playing Chicago blues, which is sort of a different groove, but there it is: You have Mick, and James Brown automatically seemed to be made out of the same mold really.”
In two weeks, Richards will reissue Live at the Hollywood Palladium, December 15, 1988, the in-concert album he released in 1991 on his first solo tour with the X-Pensive Winos. The new collection adds three more songs from the show and some bonus material.
And even though Richards is quarantining in the U.S. while Jagger is in Europe, they’ve been sending each other ideas for the long-awaited new Rolling Stones album. The first release from its sessions, “Living in a Ghost Town,” arrived in April. “We’re communicating from across the Atlantic and then waiting for a vaccine,” Richards said. “I have thousands of songs. I got enough to keep me busy.”