Tales of Rock: Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards’ life in photos in new ‘Keith, Unfiltered’ show

The Rolling Stones recently announced rescheduled dates for their “No Filter” tour after lead singer Mick Jagger underwent successful heart surgery. But for those who don’t want to wait for the Stones to hit the stage, guitarist Keith Richards, legendary for both his iconic rock riffs and his imperviousness to drugs and alcohol, has his own “Keith, Unfiltered” show up right now.

The Morrison Hotel Gallery is featuring five decades of iconic photographs of Richards at all three of its locations: New York City, Los Angeles and Maui.

“Keith, Unfiltered” shows Richards in classic portraits at work and at play, which in his case often involves cigarettes and a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Following are a selection of shots from the show, along with the photographers’ vivid memories of hanging out with perhaps the greatest rock ‘n’ roll guitarist of all time.

Keith Richards. “Patience Please” during The Stones tour of America – STP Tour, 1972

(Ethan Russell/Morrison Hotel Gallery)

Ethan Russell: “… I was traveling with the Rolling Stones, watching from the sidelines, when I noticed the sign. I called Keith over and took two quick snaps. The customs officer threatened to confiscate the film, so I retired quickly. I knew what I had.”

Keith Richards, The Third Eye. Industria Studios, New York City

(Stephanie Pfriender Stylander/Morrison Hotel Gallery)

Stephanie Pfriender Stylander: “Black set, hot lights, smoke, drink, music, film, rock and roll, Nikons, ashes, Dolce & Gabbana, ‘how are you doin’ love’, as Keith gets out of the dark limo walking into the studio, we start in this atmosphere, intimate, moving, cinematic and real.”

Keith Richards, England, 1966

(Gered Mankowitz/Morrison Hotel Gallery)

Gered Mankowitz: “In 1966, I photographed each individual member of the Rolling Stones at home so as to create a stock library of these more personal and individual images for press use. By this time there was an increasing demand for such images and the band hated the idea of having unknown photographers coming to their homes. Keith is photographed here at his glorious home Redlands in West Sussex with his beloved Bentley motor car, which he called Blue Lena after the great singer Lena Horne. By this time, Keith and I had become pretty close, and the entire day was a joy of picture taking and giggling with Keith showing his own particular take of this rather cheesy ‘at home’ format!”

Keith Richards, New York City, 1988

(Timothy White/Morrison Hotel Gallery)

Timothy White: “It was a major coming-of-age moment for me. No publicists or bodyguards, just a rising photographer and this legend I’d grown up listening to. Between rounds of pool and drinks at an otherwise vacant dive bar in Tribeca this is among the few shots we managed to get before heading over to the Hudson to catch the sunset. Crossing Greenwich Avenue, we were stopped by an NYPD office asking Keith to sign his violation book. Moments later, a few more showed up. I tried to rush things along as the sun began to sink, but when a female officer opened her bulletproof vest to reveal the Rolling Stones shirt she wore under her uniform, Keith couldn’t refuse signing just one more autograph. I may not have gotten that moment on film but we did manage to get the shots we were looking for and then some. Turning away from New York’s finest, he told me, ‘I could run for mayor of this town.’ After that day, I’m convinced he could, and win, too.”

Keith Richards, Midwest Airport, 1979

(Henry Diltz/Morrison Hotel Gallery)

Henry Diltz: “I spent three weeks on the road in 1979 with the New Barbarians; Ronnie Wood’s solo album touring band, which was like the Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger. We traveled on a huge jet plane from city to city. Each time we landed, eight limos would appear on the runway around the plane, and the band members would descend the steps and look for their own private limo and driver. Here, Keith is getting off of the place in St, Louis, looking for his limo and driver and carrying the thing that mattered most… his bottle of Jack Daniels.”

All images are for sale online as well as at each Morrison Hotel gallery.

 

California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Arielle – Part 1

NSFW! Do Not Read this one at Work. It’s Filthy but all true!

Here’s a memory from Cali I absolutely love. Here I am in my band Haightwayten, rocking out whenever we can on the strip, and just living the dream in L.A. in the early eighties. I was working as a cashier and then they taught me how to be a cook at a really cool bar and grill in Santa Monica.

I couldn’t make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before I moved out of my parents house in ’82 but I learned so much going out in the world. I found that I loved to cook and have become and expert at cooking dinner for anybody I care about in my life.

When I got divorced from my wife in 2001 the one things she said she’d miss was my cooking.

She married another guy that was also deadly behind the grill but she destroyed that relationship too and now he’s back in Phoenix Az and hopefully happy to be away from her.

Anyway… It was 1982, and I was living in Santa Monica and rocking out and doing my thing. A friend of mine from the restaurant I worked for asked if I’d house sit for them while they were away in Vegas.

I of course agreed and it was easy money for me and I could just hang at their place in Brentwood for a week. Their house was gorgeous and I was honored that they trusted me with their place. They had a pool and I figured I could just hang and play guitar and work on songs while I was there.

I was sitting by the pool one day, just chilling. I was I think 19 at the time. I was just jamming on the acoustic and sipping a margarita.

The pool area was super private. As it should be. The place is secured and nobody is coming to see anybody in the pool area.

I was just soaking up the California rays and chilling when a pretty girl entered the heavely fenced area. She opened the gate cautiously and was surprised to see not the owners but a lean, blonde long haired guitarist sitting on one of the lounge chairs banging out some chords.

I wasn’t expecting anyone, so I was naturally surprised. I just wanted to drink, jam, and take a few dips in the pool to kill time. It actually felt good to be away from the band to be alone and create some new songs.

Well apparently their neighbor Arielle always came over and got to use their pool. She was surprised to see the tan shaggy haired guitar player sitting by the pool instead of her neighbors.

“Hey.”

“Hi.”

“Who are you?”

“Umm… I’m Arielle. I live next door. The Williams let me swim in their pool. I’m sorry is it okay?”

“I’m Chaz. I work with Shane at Merlin’s. They’re in Vegas this weekend and asked that I hang here.

She approached me. I don’t know how old this girl was when this all transpired. Arielle was only a bit over 5 feet tall. Dark hair, tan and very petite and fit. She was lovely. I feel that I should leave age out of this because it was 40 years ago, and I still don’t remember because I was a kid at the time when I think about it.

Maybe 16 or 17.  But I don’t remember. It was a long time ago.

“Well it’s nice to meet you, Chaz. They let me swim in their pool whenever I want. Is that okay today. Cause if it’s not I get it.”

“No go ahead.”

She was smoking hot and I don’t give a shit. It’s not my pool and I get to jam on my guitar and just met this baby.

Arielle placed her towel down and quickly jumped into the pool. I watched her out of the corner of my eye as she swam back and forth and dove in and out of the pool. After a little while Arielle got out and laid down on her towel to to work on her tan. She was already nice and tan from her summer of swimming.

I looked at her carefully as she laid on her stomach with her head turned to the side. I examined every inch of her body. Her cute little toes and her nice tan muscular legs. Her butt was nice and round and her chest was pressed against the pool deck with her hair laying across her back and neck.

At 19 and being the fucker I was back then I decided to run the program.

“Did you put any sunscreen on Arielle?” I asked her. “No I couldn’t find some” she replied, and added “My parents went out of town for the weekend” and I think they took it with them. My mind began to work overtime as I imagined this sweet young girl left without any adult supervision.

“I have some here if you want to use it” I offered as I walked over to her. “Thanks” she replied. Taking it from my hands. She put some on her hands and then I offered to help her out. “Can I help you and get your back?”

“Yes” she replied.

 

 

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Tales of Rock – 5 False facts about classic rock artists you always thought were true

It’s pretty easy for a rumor to become fact in the public eye, especially if that rumor involves somebody famous—like a classic rock star—and it might have been even easier before the internet, when we had the good folks at Snopes to help us debunk the bad stuff. Think about it, and it’s easy to understand why so many false facts about your parents’ favorite rockers persist. All the following stories have one thing in common: none are the slightest bit true.

1. Keith Richards, heroin vampire

5 False facts about classic rock artists you always thought were true

Of all the rock stars you’d expect to have died long ago, Keith Richards has to be tops on the list. He’s taken seemingly every drug there is, yet he survives and thrives at 74 years young.

That’s utterly baffling to a lot of people, so some have concocted their own theories as to how. One of the more popular (and inane) posits that in 1973, the Rolling Stones guitarist needed to kick heroin in time for a major European tour, so he traveled to Switzerland and had all of his blood–as in, every single drop–replaced, immediately curing himself of his addiction in the bargain.

This is, of course, completely asinine. Yet as Snopes explains, the crazy myth spread thanks to the most official of sources: Richards himself. Apparently, the rocker had gone to Switzerland for an experimental blood purification process—not blood replacement—but quickly grew tired of reporters asking him about it, so he chose to play with their heads, telling them he just got all-new blood and asking them, “How do you like my blood change?” He apparently played the joke too straight, because enough people bought into it that decades later, Richards still has the reputation of a guy who changes blood as easily as Dracula moving on to a new victim.

2. Stevie Nicks, all about that (cocaine) bass

5 False facts about classic rock artists you always thought were true

Stories of rock stars abusing drugs are almost as old as drugs themselves, and while plenty are true, others are pure conjecture. The story of Stevie Nicks’ backside meeting cocaine is 100 percent the latter.

As the story goes, Nicks, a heavy cocaine user, had snorted so much of the stuff it had eaten a big hole through her nose. Unable to snort properly anymore, she did what any true addict would: find a new way to get her fix. According to legend, the Fleetwood Mac front woman started having cocaine shot up her butt by a presumably very well-paid assistant. It’s perhaps the ultimate in rock star excess—if it were true, anyway. And Nicks herself has gone on record as saying it isn’t.

In a 2001 interview with Q, Nicks refuted the coke-bum myth, saying “Of course that never, ever happened. That is an absurd statement. It’s not true.” At the same time, she did admit to the hole in her nose, which she quipped was big enough for her to slip a belt through.

But while the myth had her refusing to quit cocaine in spite of the hole in her nose, the truth is…she refused to to quit cocaine in spite of the hole in her nose. She just kept on snorting—at least until she finished her 1986 Rock a Little tour, at which point she finally hit (ahem) bottom and went to rehab.

3. Gene Simmons, beef licker

5 False facts about classic rock artists you always thought were true

Even people who can’t stand Kiss are at least impressed with Gene Simmons’ super-long tongue. He can flick it well below his chin—which, combined with his “Demon” makeup, makes him look plain otherworldly. Surely such a monstrous liquid-lapper couldn’t be natural, right? Thus was born the myth that Simmons once had a normal human tongue, but underwent an operation to have it replaced with a cow’s.

As Snopes points out, there isn’t one part of this rumor that isn’t absolutely ridiculous. For one thing, a tongue transplant wasn’t really possible in the 1960s or ’70s, which is when Simmons would have needed to get it done. Besides, even if it were, a cow’s tongue would look preposterous in a human mouth. A cow tongue can weigh well over a pound and a half and stretch to the length of a good-sized cutting board. If this rumor was true, Simmons would probably have broken his neck decades ago.

Simmons is aware of the rumor and appears greatly amused by it. Really, who wouldn’t be? But in his autobiography Kiss and Make-Up, he set the record straight: it’s a human tongue, and it’s served him well. Clearly, cows are only required when Gene craves a burger.

4. Pink Floyd and the (yellow brick) road not taken

5 False facts about classic rock artists you always thought were true

Dark Side of the Moon is one of the greatest albums ever. The Wizard of Oz is one of the greatest movies ever. And according to popular legend, their powers combined make both even greater: Apparently, if you play Moon and Oz at the same time by starting the album at the MGM lion’s third roar, they sync up perfectly, because Pink Floyd is just that incredible of a band.

As it turns out, Pink Floyd is only kind of incredible. The Wizard of Oz thing (popularly called “Dark Side of the Rainbow”) has been tested many times, and they don’t really sync up at all. Maybe a few moments work, like when (as Goldmine reports) Dorothy has a vision of Kansas as Floyd’s “Time” sings “Home, home again/I like to be there when I can,” but it’s entirely coincidental. Drummer Nick Mason officially debunked the myth in 2010, telling the BBC, “The Tin Man, and the Straw Man, and all the rest of it, had absolutely zero to do with [Moon].”

So how did this absurd rumor even start? Well, according to Little White Lies, it appears to have originated on a ’90s Internet forum dedicated to Floyd. That, combined with a viral 1995 article that details how to access the synchronicity, gave the myth enough life to survive the band laughing it off, and years of people trying it out and learning nothing except that Oz is a better film when you can hear Dorothy speak.

(On a side note, people also think that you can sync Rush’s 2112 album up with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.)

5. Phil Collins’ fictitious quest for justice

5 False facts about classic rock artists you always thought were true

When song lyrics go vague, fans are forced to come up with their own meanings. The prevailing interpretation of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” might be the most bonkers theory ever dreamed up, but its sheer implausibility hasn’t stopped people from believing it to this day.

As described by Snopes, the myth goes that Collins wrote “Tonight” after witnessing a man who could’ve saved someone from drowning, but didn’t. Disgusted, Collins spent years tracking the man down—and once he did, he sent the guilty party a free front-row ticket to one of his shows. Once he saw the man, Collins started playing “In the Air Tonight,” which called out the non-hero with the lines “Well if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand / I’ve seen your face before my friend, but I don’t know if you know who I am / Well I was there and I saw what you did, I saw it with my own two eyes / So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you’ve been / It’s all been a pack of lies.”

Eventually, Collins supposedly even had a spotlight aimed at the guy, exposing and humiliating him in front of thousands. That’s pretty hardcore, especially for the man who gave us “Sussudio.”

An interesting story, but it’s totally false. Such a scenario would basically be impossible, and even if it did happen, how would everybody else at the show even know what was happening? Collins discussed the real meaning behind the song during an appearance on The Tonight Show, and naturally, it wound up being completely unrelated to drowning. Basically, Collins was going through a divorce, he was angry, and the song was a reflection of his anger. That’s all, folks. Eminem lied to you.

 

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Tales of Rock: Moby’s Most Outlandish Claims, from ‘Dating’ Natalie Portman to Spilling CIA Secrets

Wikipedia calls Moby a pioneer of electronic music in the aughts, but today’s headlines confirm Moby is now a three-time, eye-roll-inducing author adamant that, no really guys, he actually, like, really did date Natalie Portman.

In his newly released memoir (his second in four years) Then It Fell Apart, Moby reminisces about a supposedly brief relationship with the actress in 1999 when he was 33 and Portman was 20. He claims they met at a gig in Austin, Texas, which led to attending parties together and even a trip to see a day in her life as a student at Harvard University. “For a few weeks I had tried to be Natalie’s boyfriend, but it hadn’t worked out,” he writes, according to The Guardian.

Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar this week, Portman disputed that they dated and called Moby “a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school.”

“He said I was 20; I definitely wasn’t. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18. There was no fact checking from him or his publisher—it almost feels deliberate,” Portman told the magazine. “That he used this story to sell his book was very disturbing to me. It wasn’t the case. There are many factual errors and inventions. I would have liked him or his publisher to reach out to fact check.”

Upon hearing her side of the story, Moby decided posting a shirtless photo of himself with a young Portman (wearing a t-shirt with the words “Milk Fed”—it’s a big week for milk) was just the proof he needed after that “gossip piece” in Harper’s Bazaar to show not only that “we did, in fact, date,” but also that they even “remained friends for years.” He then goes on to characterize Portman as an intelligent activist misrepresenting the truth, before plugging his book. “The story as laid out in my book Then It Fell Apart is accurate, with lots of corroborating photo evidence, etc. Thanks, Moby,” he writes

According to Stereogum, Moby also writes in Then It Fell Apart about a brief romance with Lana Del Rey, then known as Lizzy Grant—another anecdote that comes across like an overestimation of his own romantic prowess. Since she refused to go home with him after the two had just met, Moby doesn’t wait a full day before wining, dining and again inviting her over to his five-floor New York penthouse. From Then It Fell Apart:

“Floors in an apartment.” She shook her head. “Moby you know you’re the man.”

“Ha, thanks,” I said.

“No, not like that. You’re a rich WASP from Connecticut and you live in a five-level penthouse. You’re ‘The Man.’ As in, ‘stick it to The Man.’ As in the person they guillotine in the revolution.”

I didn’t know if she was insulting me but I decided to take it as a compliment.

After he kissed her, Del Rey dodged Moby, saying “I like you. But I hear you do this with a lot of people.” Moby writes that because it’d have been a lie to call himself “chaste, sane, and ethical,” he said nothing and walked Del Rey to the twenty-ninth floor, kissing her in front of the elevators.

This wasn’t how I imagined the night ending. I’d assumed that we would end up christening my new apartment with vodka and sex. But to my surprise, this was almost nicer.

Apart from unrequited affairs with female celebrities, Moby spent the 2000s writing prolifically in his blog about a number of subjects. With over 414 pages of posts dating from October 2000 to June 2018, Moby has imparted his thoughts on everything from the “sprawling hydra headed monster eating everything in it’s path” that is Los Angeles to George W. Bush being a “moron.”

Foreign policy is a favorite topic for the musician. Five days after 9/11, Moby outlined his strategy for how to handle Osama bin Laden. If the United States government would just hire the best graphic designers to create a pamphlet depicting bin Laden “drinking, gambling, and having sex with prostitutes” and distributed the piece of propaganda throughout Islamic countries, then bin Laden’s “reputation would be destroyed,” he insisted, adding, “please don’t laugh. This really would work.”

In recent years, he’s taken aim at Donald Trump. In a February 2017 Facebook post, Moby claimed his friends in the CIA told him they were working on establishing Trump’s connection to the Russian government, saying the infamous pee tape was “100 percent real.” Nearly a year later, he told the Kentucky radio WFPK that his CIA friends asked him to share the information publicly.

“So they passed on some information to me and they said, like, ‘Look, you have more of a social media following than any of us do, can you please post some of these just in a way that…sort of put it out there,’” he said, according to The A.V. Club. The CIA has 2.59 million Twitter followers, while Moby has 1.2 million.

Moby is on his book tour through the beginning of June. Expect more bold statements.

 

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Tales of Rock: Elton John: I insisted ‘Rocketman’ film be honest about sex, drugs, rock and roll

Music icon Elton John says he insisted that the musical-fantasy biography “Rocketman,” opening Friday, be honest about his life’s sex, drugs and rock and roll.

During the movie’s long gestation, wrote John in an article Sunday for The Observer Magazine of the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, “Some studios wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating. But I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life. I didn’t want a film packed with drugs and sex, but equally, everyone knows I had quite a lot of both during the ’70s and ’80s, so there didn’t seem to be much point in making a movie that implied that after every gig, I’d quietly gone back to my hotel room with only a glass of warm milk and the Gideon’s Bible for company.”

The film, eventually rated R, stars Taron Egerton as John and Jamie Bell as his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, whose numerous hits together include “Rocket Man,” “Daniel,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Candle in the Wind” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

“[S]ome studios wanted us to lose the fantasy element and make a more straightforward biopic,” Rock & Roll Hall of Famer John continued, “but that was missing the point. Like I said, I lived in my own head a lot as a kid. And when my career took off, it took off in such a way that it almost didn’t seem real to me. I wasn’t an overnight success by any means … But when it happened, it went off like a missile: there’s a moment in ‘Rocketman’ when I’m playing onstage in the Troubadour club in LA and everything in the room starts levitating, me included, and honestly, that’s what it felt like.”

During that tumultuous period, he wrote, “I’d also lost my virginity, to a man — John Reid [played in the film by Richard Madden], who later became my manager — and come out as gay, at least to my friends and family. This all happened in the space of three weeks. To say it was a lot to take in is a terrible understatement.”

 

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Tales of Rock: ELTON JOHN SAYS HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ‘CHEATING PEOPLE’ IF THE SEX SCENE IN ‘ROCKETMAN’ WAS LEFT OUT

The musical biopic stars Taron Egerton as the iconic gay singer

Elton John said he would have been ‘cheating people’ if the sex scene in Rocketman was left out.

The iconic singer’s life has turned into a movie musical Rocketman starring Taron Egerton and has been released in UK cinemas today (May 22).

And early reviews following screenings at Cannes Film Festival said the film is the first major studio film to depict a gay love scene between Egerton and Richard Madden – who plays Elton’s manager John Reid.

And now, Elton said he didn’t want to ‘airbrush’ the sex scene ‘under the carpet and said he was ‘so joyous’.

He said: “If I am telling my story, it has to be honest.

”I was a virgin until then. I was desperate to be loved and desperate to have a tactile relationship.

”When they tear their clothes off in the movie, that was how it happened. It was in San Francisco.

”I’m so glad it’s in there because I am a gay man and I didn’t want to airbrush it under the carpet.

”This is who I am, and I was so joyous. When he is lying in my arms and I’m sitting back with a smile I’m thinking, ‘Ah, I’m normal, I’ve had sex’…

”I’m proud Rocketman is the first major studio film with a gay love sex scene in it. If I’d left it out, I’d have felt I was cheating people.

”If they don’t like it, I understand, but it’s part of who I am. That night was a very, very important part.”

In Attitude’s June issue, Egerton opened up about the sex scene with Madden and said he felt Madden’s penis on his leg.

“I felt Richard’s penis… On my leg,” he tells Attitude. “We shot a scene where we are both naked on a bed and we are rolling around. I don’t really know how much further we could have gone.”

Rocketman is out in cinemas now!

Watch the trailer below:

 

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Tales of Rock – The Best Band You Never Heard – Morphine

 

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