The devil-may-care, rakish charisma of the rough-hewn rockstar Keith Richards is on full display in the brand new Netflix-released documentary, Keith Richards: Under The Influence.
It's an intimate portrait of the biggest rascal in rock 'n' roll history. Originally conceived as a companion video for the release of his new solo album, his first in 23 years, Crosseyed Heart, that project was expanded into an 80-minute history lesson of Keef and his true influences culling incredible archival material, interviews, and studio footage of him recording his new solo album. The craggy-faced Keith with lit cigarette in hand, chuckles and chortles as he regales stories of his love and passion of the blues, country, rock, guitars, musical comrades, and his position in The Greatest Rock Band in History.
Academy-award winning director Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom, Best of Enemies) does a terrific job of getting Keith to share marvelous stories about meeting and helping his blues idols -- Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy. Keef sharing an epic account of nearly getting arrested in the mid-60s for being topless in a motel pool in Georgia, or being carried out of a Chicago house party post blues gig and waking up in Howlin' Wolf's house, Gram Parsons influence on him and The Stones, his freindship with Tom Waits (his cameo observations of our Keith are priceless), his bass and piano-playing chops, and so much more.
In the end, I was struck by how humble and truly affable this rockstar is. His loyalty and his love of family and friends is truly refreshing in these days of ego-driven celebutards. Rent it immediately.
Mr. Wright is a content creator, cultural curator and disrupter. He is the co-host of The Anti-Gravity Show on Indie Air Radio, former DJ at David Lynch's Transcendental Music Radio, the former editor-in-chief of Creem and Prince's New Power Generation magazines as well as a writer of films, fiction, and television. He's also a singer/songwriter who has released five solo albums and one with folk-rock quintet GIANTfingers. And before all of this he was a William Morris agent.