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Richards’ hazy legacy

Keith Richards regrets his youthful indiscretions—sort of, says Andrew Mueller in Uncut. For years, the Rolling Stones guitarist was in the grip of a notorious drug addiction with a special taste for heroin; his 1977 arrest for heroin possession nearly br

Keith Richards regrets his youthful indiscretions—sort of, says Andrew Mueller in Uncut. For years, the Rolling Stones guitarist was in the grip of a notorious drug addiction with a special taste for heroin; his 1977 arrest for heroin possession nearly broke up the band. Looking back, he wishes he could have talked some sense into his younger self. “I’d have said, ‘Lay off the dope.’ That’s my advice now to all younger, uh, members who are into this sort of thing—‘I knooooow the fascination, but it ain’t worth it, pal.’” Still, having somehow reached the ripe age of 64, Richards isn’t convinced that he really harmed himself or anyone who might have been tempted to emulate his behavior. “You can’t set yourself up as an example. The only example is that I’m still here. I went through there, and I came out the other end, and blah blah. Every generation is going to go through the same thing, one way or the other. They just change the flavor of the drug. I don’t feel any responsibility for it.” Indeed, Richards says that compared with some of today’s overindulgent rockers, he and his band mates have nothing to be ashamed of. “I think we’ve been absolutely an example of propriety. All we did was get busted a few times and pee against a garage wall. But that was then and this is now.”

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