Keith Richards, the legendary guitarist of the great rock and
roll band The Rolling Stones, has never been quiet about his drug
use, enjoyment of life, and viewpoint about rehab. Many people
who have lived a lifetime of drug abuse and addiction, often recount
their tales later in life, looking back on them with a newfound
sense of sobriety that helps them see the addiction more clearly.
Not Keith Richards.
The rocker has many times been quoted as having absolutely no
regrets, and has even defended his drug use, claiming that heroin
is part of what made him an artist. In a 2013 interview for Men's
Journal Magazine, Richards elaborated on the way the drug affected
his work, stating: "It was - either stay up or crash out
or wake up. It was always to do something. Also, I've got to confess,
I was very interested in what I could take and what I could do.
"I looked upon the body as a laboratory - I used to throw
in this chemical and then that one to see what would happen; I
was intrigued by that." He added, "It's like Churchill
said about alcohol, 'Believe me - I've taken a lot more out of
alcohol than it's ever taken out of me!' And I kind of feel the
same way about the dope and stuff. I got something out of it."
Richards' notoriety for drug use started with a string of drug
busts throughout the 1960's and 70's that resulted in five trials
for drug charges: in 1967, twice in 1973, in 1977 and in 1978.
Only the first trial resulted in imprisonment, and within a month
the conviction was overturned due to lack of evidence.
Richards had many run-ins with the law regarding his heroin use,
which even left him stranded in Canada in 1977. His passport was
confiscated and he was refused entry to the United States due
to criminal possession of heroin with what Canadian law enforcement
deemed "intent to traffic."
The musician has made it loud and clear that he'd rather play
his guitar than go to rehab. "I hate all this idea of rehab
and giving stuff up because it just means you're hung up on it,"
he said. His Rolling Stones companion Ronnie Wood has been to
rehab many times, to which Richards has suggested is because he
loves drama and attention.
Today, Richards has made a significant attempt to cut back on
heroin and cocaine use, specifically by sticking to marijuana
and wine. He is open about using one addiction to take the place
of another, and his official Twitter handle (@officialKeef) plays
off the word kief, a slang term for marijuana.
Despite a lifetime of addiction and rabid drug use, he's still
rocking out. This past March, it was announced that Richards will
release a children's book, a project he is working on with his
daughter Theodora. If there's something Richards may love more
than drugs, its books. He is an avid reader with his own personal