The 15 Best Keith Richards Quotes

Keith Richards is equal parts rough-and-tumble rocker and well-respected musician. His grittiness is balanced out by his polished guitar playing, which has made many a hit for the Rolling Stones.

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Early on in the band’s career, Richards was the troublemaker (not that any of the Stones could have been considered model citizens – save Charlie Watts). His run-ins with the law have become just as famous as songs like “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” or “Wild Horses.” Richards’ folklore has been passed down from generation to generation of rock fanatics to the point where he seems more myth than man.

The 79-year-old shows no signs of slowing down, sliding up and down the frets with the spirit of a much younger man. His career, both past and present, is defined by the music he has created alongside his bandmates. But, outside the studio, Richards has some great one-liners that are equally as iconic.

The 10 quotes from Richards below encompass everything great about the guitarist: his devil-may-care attitude, reverence for music, and time-earned wisdom.

1. “Some things get better with age. Like me.”

2. “I’ve been through more cold turkeys than there are freezers.”

3. “I’ve never had a problem with drugs. I’ve had problems with the police.”

4. “I’m not getting old – I’m evolving.”

5.  “Music is a necessity. After food, air, water, and warmth, music is the next necessity of life.”

6.  “Everybody’s got a different way of telling a story – and has different stories to tell.”

7. “If you’re going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use two feet.”

8. “To me, the main thing about living on this planet is to know who the hell you are and be real about it. That’s the reason I’m still alive.”

9. “You don’t find a style. A style finds you.”

10. “We age not by holding on to youth, but by letting ourselves grow and embracing whatever youthful parts remain.”

11. “Rock and Roll: Music for the neck downwards.”

12. “About myself I have no great illusions. I know what I am. I know what I’m good at. I know what I ain’t. I’m always hoping to surprise myself. But I do have a love of music and I do love to communicate it, and that’s the best I can do, really. And I can raise a good family, too.”

13. “Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.”

14. “True friends. Hardest thing to find, but you never look for them—they found you; you just grow into each other.”

15. “What is it that makes you want to write songs? In a way, you want to stretch yourself into other people’s hearts. You want to plant yourself there, or at least get a resonance, where other people become a bigger instrument than the one you’re playing.”

Photo by Dimitri Hakke/Redferns

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