Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones performs at the kick-off of the band’s “50 and Counting” tour in Los Angeles last year. Richards has a children’s book “Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar,” with illustrations by his daughter, Theodora, released on Sept. 9, 2014. | AP
By Mesfin Fekadu
NEW YORK — There’s one person who knew Keith Richards would become Keith Richards: his grandfather.
The Rolling Stone member said Augustus Theodore Dupree introduced him to the guitar and taught him about music as a child growing up in England.
The rock icon details his relationship with his grandfather in “Gus & Me,” his children’s book out Tuesday.
“He was a saxophone player. He got gassed in the First World War and he couldn’t blow anymore, so he went to fiddle. He was playing way into his 60s — so am I,” 70-year-old Richards said, laughing.
Richards has four children and five grandchildren. His daughter Theodora Dupree Richards — named after Gus — worked on the illustrations for the book.
In a recent interview Richards talked about writing books.
Q. Why did you decide to write this book?
A. My publishers first came up with this idea. They said, “There’s certain chapters about your grandfather that could make a great children’s book.” … and I’ve always wanted to give my ole grandfather Gus, bless him, a little more memorial than he’s had.
Q. Your 2010 memoir, “Life,” was a commercial and critical success. Was there any pressure to match it with “Gus & Me”?
A. The initial idea did come from the publishers, so you know, “Maybe Keith can sell a few more books.” That’s their business after all. Nine times out of 10 I would have said forget about it. I’m not going there. But because of the circumstances and having another grandchild, everything was sort of falling into place. I said, “Damn it. Go for it.”
Q. Do you want to write more books?
A. I don’t know. There’s been plenty of talk about doing volume two (to “Life”) because a lot of stuff got left out. I may save that for a little later. —AP