Rock and Roll Minus the Sex and Drugs: Keith Richards Writes a Children’s Book


Keith Richards may not strike people as the most family friendly rock musician, but the legendary Rolling Stones axeman has penned a children’s book titled Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar about his jazz musician grandfather, who inspired Richards to start playing guitar.

Richards’ first book, the critically acclaimed 576-page autobiography Life, was released in 2011. That book was a look into the debauchery-filled rock and roll lifestyle Richards is famous for, as well as the inspirations behind some of the greatest rock guitar riffs ever written. Now, Richards has penned a children’s book based on the key early inspiration provided by his grandfather Theodore Augustus Dupree, nicknamed Gus, who gave Richards his first guitar, a pivotal moment that was also discussed in Life. The book will be illustrated by Richards’ artist-model daughter Theodora Dupree Richards, who was named after her great-grandfather.

“I have just become a grandfather for the fifth time, so I know what I’m talking about,” Richards said in a statement. “The bond, the special bond, between kids and grandparents is unique and should be treasured. This is a story of one of those magical moments. May I be as great a grandfather as Gus was to me.”

“When I found out they wanted me to be a part of this project, my immediate instinct was to say yes, and I am so happy I did,” Theodora said. “To be able to explore my father’s relationship with his grandfather was a gift in itself. The things that I’ve learnt during this whole process have just been life affirming.”

The book features pen-and-ink illustrations by Theodora, who studied at the New York Academy of Art and School of Visual Arts, as well as photographs from the Richards family collection. “This unique autobiographical picture book honors the special bond between a grandfather and grandson and celebrates the artistic talents of the Richards family through the generations,” the book’s description reads.

Richards has certainly been staying busy, as the Rolling Stones are currently in the middle of a sold-out tour of Asia, a leg of the band’s 14 On Fire tour. The band also recently announced appearances at two summer festivals in Europe, Holland’s Pinkpop Festival and Belgium’s TW Classic Festival. “Let’s keep this show on the road… the band are in top form so I’m really looking forward to getting back to Europe,” Richards said of the gigs in a statement on the Rolling Stones’ website. Those shows will be the first time the band has played in Europe in seven years.

More from Wall St. Cheat Sheet:

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS