Keith Richards – From Dartford to Rolling Stones superstar

A rolling stone gathers no moss – but he does get a profile from Ken Tracey who looks at another famous person’s links to the News Shopper area.

Rolling Stone Keith Richards didn’t go along with the rock and roll lifestyle of sex and drugs and trashing hotel rooms – he started it! But the singer, songwriter and guitarist was once a choirboy. He sang with his school at the Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation.

Keith was born December 18, 1943 in the Livingstone Hospital, East Hill, Dartford. With father Bert in the army, mother Doris took her only child home to 33 Chastillian Road.

Six months later to avoid the onslaught of V1 flying bombs, Doris took Keith to Nottinghamshire where his father was recuperating from war wounds. While they were away their house was blasted by a V1.

He grew to be a loner who enjoyed reading, drawing and the film matinees featuring his cowboy heroes.

At Wentworth Primary School in 1951, he met fellow pupil Michael Jagger. In 1954 Keith passed the 11-plus exam to Dartford Technical College.

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The family were rehoused that year to 6 Spielman Road, on the Temple Hill estate. Keith lost his old friends and became unhappy and was frequently bullied on the new estate.

He was expelled from college before passing any exams. But his artistic skill took him to Sidcup Art College in Grassington Road. The site was redeveloped in 2010 as a Morrisons supermarket. Many of the students played guitars and were fascinated by the traditional blues singers. Keith began his apprenticeship as a great guitarist.

Music took over his life, so in 1961 when he again met Mick Jagger and their shared passion for American music sparked an alliance that would project them to pop stardom.

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In 1962 Keith left art college and moved to live with Jagger and Brian Jones in a flat in Edith Grove off the Kings Road. Here the three fanatical musicians formed The Rolling Stones.

In 1967 he met Anita Pallenberg, his partner for over a decade, and they had two sons and a daughter (son Tara died a few months old). He married Patti Hansen in 1983, and they have two daughters.

More from Ken Tracey at www.kentracey.co.uk

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