Malcolm Richards Biography & Facts
Keith Richards (born 18 December 1943), often referred to during the 1960s and 1970s as Keith Richard, is an English musician, singer, and songwriter. He is best known as the co-founder, guitarist, secondary vocalist, and co-principal songwriter of the Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone magazine called Richards the creator of "rock's greatest single body of riffs" on guitar and ranked him fourth on its list of 100 best guitarists in 2011. The magazine lists fourteen songs that Richards wrote with the Rolling Stones' lead vocalist Mick Jagger on its "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.
Richards plays both lead and rhythm guitar parts, often in the same song; the Stones are generally known for their guitar interplay of rhythm and lead ("weaving") between him and the other guitarist in the band – Brian Jones (1962–1969), Mick Taylor (1969–1975), or Ronnie Wood (1975–present). In the recording studio Richards sometimes plays all of the guitar parts, notably on the songs "Paint It Black", "Ruby Tuesday", "Sympathy for the Devil", and "Gimme Shelter". He is also a vocalist, singing backing vocals on many Rolling Stones songs as well as occasional lead vocals, such as on the Rolling Stones' 1972 single "Happy", as well as with his side project, the X-Pensive Winos.
He has also appeared in three Pirates of the Caribbean films as Captain Teague, father of Jack Sparrow, whose look and characterization was inspired by Richards himself.
Richards was born on 18 December 1943 at Livingston Hospital, in Dartford, Kent, England. He is the only child of Doris Maud Lydia (née Dupree) and Herbert William Richards. His father was a factory worker who was wounded in the Second World War during the Normandy invasion. Richards's paternal grandparents, Ernie and Eliza Richards, were socialists and civic leaders, whom he credited as "more or less creat[ing] the Walthamstow Labour Party", and both were mayors of the Municipal Borough of Walthamstow in Essex, with Eliza becoming mayor in 1941. His great-grandfather's family originated from Wales.His maternal grandfather, Augustus Theodore "Gus" Dupree, who toured Britain with a jazz big band, Gus Dupree and His Boys, fostered Richards's interest in the guitar. Richards has said that it was Dupree who gave him his first guitar. His grandfather 'teased' the young Richards with a guitar that was on a shelf that Richards couldn't reach at the time. Finally, Dupree told Richards that if Richards could reach the guitar, he could have it. Richards then devised all manner of ways of reaching the guitar, including putting books and cushions on a chair, until finally getting hold of the instrument, after which his grandfather taught him the rudiments of Richards's first tune, "Malagueña". He worked on the number 'like mad', and then his grandfather let him keep the guitar, which he called 'the prize of the century'. Richards played at home, listening to recordings by Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and others. His father, on the other hand, disparaged his son's musical enthusiasm. One of Richards's first guitar heroes was Elvis's guitarist Scotty Moore.Richards attended Wentworth Primary School with Mick Jagger and was his neighbour until 1954 when the Richards and Jagger families both moved. From 1955 to 1959, Richards attended Dartford Technical High School for Boys. Recruited by Dartford Tech's choirmaster, R. W. "Jake" Clare, he sang in a trio of boy sopranos at, among other occasions, Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth II. In 1959, Richards was expelled from Dartford Tech for truancy and transferred to Sidcup Art College, where he met Dick Taylor. At Sidcup, he was diverted from his studies proper and devoted more time to playing guitar with other students in the boys' room. At this point, Richards had learned most of Chuck Berry's solos.Richards inadvertently met Jagger again on a train platform when Jagger was heading for classes at the London School of Economics. The mail-order rhythm & blues albums from Chess Records by Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters that Jagger was carrying revealed a mutual interest and led to a renewal of their friendship. Along with mutual friend Dick Taylor, Jagger was singing in an amateur band, Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys, which Richards soon joined. The Blue Boys folded when Brian Jones, after sharing thoughts on their joint interest in the blues music, invited Mick and Keith to the Bricklayers Arms pub, where they then met Ian Stewart.By mid-1962 Richards had left Sidcup Art College to devote himself to music, and moved into a London flat with Jagger and Jones. His parents divorced at about the same time, resulting in his staying close to his mother and remaining estranged from his father until 1982.After the Rolling Stones signed to Decca Records in 1963, the band's manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, dropped the s from Richards's surname, believing that "Keith Richard", in his words, "looked more pop". During the late 1970s, Richards re-established the s in his surname.
Since the departure of Brian Jones, Richards and Mick Jagger have shared primary songwriting and production duties (credited as the Glimmer Twins) for the Stones. Former keyboardist Ian Stewart once said that Richards was the Rolling Stones' bandleader; however, Richards has said that his job is merely "oiling the machinery". Unlike many bands where the drummer sets the pace and acts as a timesetter for a song, Richards fills that role for the Rolling Stones. Both former bassist Bill Wyman and current guitarist Ronnie Wood have said that the Stones do not follow the band's long-time drummer, Charlie Watts, but rather follow Richards, as there was "no way of 'not' following" him.
Chris Spedding calls Richards's guitar playing "direct, incisive and unpretentious". Richards says he focuses on chords and rhythms, avoiding flamboyant and competitive virtuosity and trying not to be the "fastest gun in the west". Richards prefers teaming with at least one other guitarist and has almost never toured without one. Chuck Berry has been an inspiration for Richards, and, with Jagger, he introduced Berry's songs to the Rolling Stones' early repertoire. In the late 1960s Brian Jones's declining contributions led Richards to record all guitar parts on many tracks, including slide guitar. Jones's replacement, Mick Taylor, played guitar with the Rolling Stones from 1969 to 1974. Taylor's virtuosity on lead guitar led to a pronounced separation between lead and rhythm guitar roles, most notably onstage. In 1975 Taylor was replaced by Wood, whose arrival marked a return to a guitar interplay Richards called "the ancient art of weaving", which he and Jones had gleaned from Chicago blues.A break in touring during 1967–1968 allowed Richards to experiment with open tunings. He primarily used open tunings for fingered chording, developing a distinctive style of syncopated and ri.... Discover the Malcolm Richards popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Malcolm Richards books.