b. December 18, 19443
Dartford, Kent, England
As a guitarist for The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards was largely responsible for bringing the rock n' roll of Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry into the group's rhythm and blues repertoire. With Stones founding member and guitarist Brian Jones, Richards developed a two-guitar style of interwoven leads and rhythms. Richards has cited his insistence that the two-guitar sound as the defining of The Stones as one of his chief contributions to the music world. The Stones are among the most influential rock bands of all-time. They have sold more
more than 100 million albums, tapes, 8-track, cds and full album downloads combined. In the U.S. the Rolling Stones have 18 platinum albums with three of those selling more that five million each.
Keith Richards' often uses open tunings, which allow for syncopated and ringing I-IV chording. He has also used a five-string variant of the open G, which is GDGBD and is unencumbered by a rumbling, lower E string. Though he still uses standard tunings, Richards has said his open tunings led to a musical "rebirth".
To the general public, Richards is perhaps better known for his drug-related outlaw image than for his songwriting contributions. Richards and the Stones are notorious for their decadent and counter-culture drug use during the 1960’s and 70’s, and Richards' frank admission that he used narcotics often made him a poster-boy for teens. He has openly discussed his drug and alcohol addictions in interviews through the years, and has expressed little regret about the heroin addiction that almost destroyed his life and music career.