Rolling Stones’ Guitarist Keith Richards: ‘Under The Influence’ Documentary [Video]

Keith Richards, the enigmatic co-founder and leader of the Rolling Stones, is the subject of an upcoming Netflix documentary entitled Under the Influence. The Keith Richards documentary is scheduled to be released on September 18 and is produced by Adam Del Deo and directed by Morgan Neville, reports IMDb.

Richards, who possesses savant-like guitar-playing ability, has remained firmly in the public eye for over 50 years. “Keith Richards,” unfortunately, has also become synonymous with “drug addict.” Richards spoke about his name and his past drug use with Rolling Stone in 2013.

“They think I’m a cartoon! I mean ‘Keith Richards’ – everybody knows what it means. I’m glad it strikes people’s imaginations! I’d like to be old Keith and play him to the hilt. I’m probably something different to millions of different people.”

Despite how, in some circles, Richards’ name is used as a punchline, among musicians he is held with the highest regard, not only for his playing ability, but for his mastery of musical composition. While Richards contends that both he and Mick Jagger are the leaders of the Rolling Stones, when questioned, fellow band members and insiders point to Keith as being the man.

Ian Stewart, fellow Stones co-founder, spoke about Richards in 1981, as reported by Rolling Stones fan site Time Is On Our Side.

“I don’t think Keith wants the world to acknowledge him as the leader of the band. He wants to be the leader with Mick as the figurehead. Mick can have all the glory he wants. Keith just wants the band to sound the way he thinks it should sound.”

And despite the negative connotation his name has taken on, Keith Richards is known for being an all-around nice person, who will stand up against bullies for what he thinks is right. Watch Richards tell-off fighting audience members with Hells Angels breathing down his neck in the NSFW 1970 documentary Gimme Shelter.

Hells Angels’ member Sonny Barger is reported to have claimed to have held a gun to Richards, stating, “Keep playing or you’re dead,” on stage at Altamont by David Curry in a Canberra Times article reprinted on his blog — something that has never been verified, perhaps understandably, by Richards himself.

Richards speaks about his past and his musical influences in the Under the Influence trailer.

“I know who I am, but I realise that people think Keith Richards is smoking a joint, bottle in his hand, cursing the fact that the liquor store’s closed.”

“I grew up with American folk music: jazz, blues, Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters; rock and roll’s got nothing on these guys. Not a lot of guys want to play like Chuck Berry because it’s like… taking on the devil… I’ll take it on. There are places we used to drive around in the station wagon 50 years ago. Muddy Waters’ house [outside the house] it was a lot more vibrant. It was rocking when I got here, I remember that… It’s leaving I don’t remember.”

“You’re not grown up until the day they put you six feet under. You’re never grown up,” the trailer finishes with Keith Richards standing in a concert hall, inspecting the stage with approval, saying, “Beautiful woodwork.”

[Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images]

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