Saturday, May 06, 2006
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears have been troubling me ever since the news broke that Keith Richards had fallen out of a coconut tree. Having once interviewed Keith (For Vanity Fair! Never again. Cheque late. Edited by man in bad suit and worse grasp of prose. Fact checkers horrible. Etc.), I can confirm the general consensus that he is a nice bloke. Furthermore, he was a fine patron of the late great Gram Parsons. Enough said. But it wasn't merely the fact that yet another sound man had tumbled out of a palm that bothered me. It was a nagging feeling that the death of Keith would, somehow, be one death too many. Of course, we all want celebrities to die, that is what they are for. A periodic culling of a dozen or so would be no great loss. But the whole point of Keith has always been that he is unkillable. He can, as Phil Kaufman, road manager to both Parsons and the Stones, put it to me, "eat nails and piss rust." The wondrous pharmacopeia that has coursed through his veins over the years has produced a man who appears to be made of an aged and indestructible combination of wood, leather and the strange metal things that hang from his hair. But I suppose that's the point; unkillable Keith will finally be terminated by something stupid like a fall from a palm tree. Even so, it wouldn't be right. I'd like to imagine my own last words would be something along the lines of, "At least Keith's okay."
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 4:03 pm