After decades of hedonism, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has revealed he’s dramatically cut back on drinking.
74-year-old Keef says that apart from an “occasional” glass of wine or beer he has curbed his drinking for around a year now.
“I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it,” he told Rolling Stone. “It was time to quit, just like all the other stuff.”
Asked if it was a big adjustment, Keith said: “You can call it that, yeah, but I don’t notice any difference really – except for I don’t drink. I wasn’t feeling right. I’ve done it. I didn’t want that anymore.”
However, Ronnie Wood, who himself got sober in 2010, has noticed a big difference in his band mate.
“He’s a pleasure to work with,” Ronnie enthused. “Much more mellow. He’s open to more ideas, whereas before I’d kind of grit my teeth and go, ‘He’s gonna give me some s*** for saying this.’ Now, he’ll say, ‘That’s cool, man.'"
The Rolling Stones in May 2018 © REX/Shutterstock
Commenting further on Keith’s drinking, Ronnie said: “It just wasn’t working anymore, you know.
“I think the Keith that we used to know and love had this cut-off point where if he had one more, he’d go over the top and he’d be nasty. The cut-off point became shorter and shorter, you know, and he realised that.”
He continued: “I was lucky to get on the wagon when I did and was ready for all the stuff that came at me, cancer and all that. Luckily it was all in one place and I had it removed.
“I got my life again – I got a second chance and my little girls and my whole life now is so much better. I think Keith is seeing that kind of thing as well. And then he went on to the beers for a while, he cut down slowly, and now, you know, good luck to him. If he’s gonna keep it up, I’ll be there, full support.”
Keith said last month The Rolling Stones’ first album of original material since 2005’s ‘A Bigger Bang’ could be released later next year.
The guitarist spent a few days in the studio with Mick Jagger in October where they “knocked out a few songs” with producer Don Was.
Although the record is in its embryonic stages, Keith says late 2019 “looks like a reasonable projection” for its release once they’ve wrapped up their North American No Filter Tour.