Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards (almost) quits drinking

The lead guitarist says he cut back on alcohol a year ago as he ‘just got fed up with it’

Rolling Stone: Guitrist Keith Richards says he has cut back on drinking. Photograph:  EPA/Peter Foley

Rolling Stone: Guitrist Keith Richards says he has cut back on drinking. Photograph: EPA/Peter Foley

 

Keith Richards, the hard-partying lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, has quit drinking – almost – saying he “just got fed up with it”.

“It’s been about a year now,” Richards told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview. “I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it.”

The Rolling Stones in 1968. From left, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones. Photograph: Camera PRes/JBA
The Rolling Stones in 1968. From left, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones. Photograph: Camera PRes/JBA

Richards (74), who has said his favorite tipple for decades has been whiskey or vodka, said he still had a glass of wine occasionally and a beer.

“It was time to quit. Just like all the other stuff,” he told the magazine, referring to his past addiction to cocaine, heroin and other hard drugs. Richards has said he quit drugs after a 1977 arrest in Canada for heroin possession.

Keith Richards performing with the Rolling Stones in 2016. Photograph: EPA/Sebastiao Moreira
Keith Richards performing with the Rolling Stones in 2016. Photograph: EPA/Sebastiao Moreira

Bandmate Ron Wood, who battled alcoholism for years, said Richards was easier to work with since giving up drink.

“Much more mellow. He’s open to more ideas,” Wood said in the interview, published on Wednesday.

“I think the Keith that we used to know and love had this cutoff point where if he had one more, he’d go over the top and he’d be nasty. The cutoff point became shorter and shorter, you know, and he realized that,” Wood added. The Rolling Stones will launch their next North American tour in April. – Reuters