Ithaca Blog

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Rolling Stones, the No-Memory Motel, and the Secret to Career Longevity

Keith Richards announced this week he is having trouble writing his autobiography because he can't remember his life.

"I can't remember yesterday," he said.

It must worry his publisher, which paid him an advance of over $8 million to remember beyond earlier today.

Richards blamed a marijuana habit for his foggy mentality, saying he smokes "all the damn time."

In the 1980's, Richards' bandmate Mick Jagger got a huge advance from a publisher for a memoir, a project he had to abandon when he discovered he did not have memories, per se.

Jagger said that, to his surprise, his amnesia spanned virtually his entire adult life and career, including tours and recordings. Like Richards, Jagger attributed the condition to drug use.

It suggests that when Jagger and Richards wrote "Memory Motel", it was an exotic rather than hackneyed notion.

Perhaps the secret to the Rolling Stones' career longevity is their inability to remember anything they have done, keeping their work constantly fresh, at least for them.

Steve Burke
entertainment and medical reporter -
Ithaca Blog

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