“Before they make me run” haiku

Keith Richards stones me
Still my little rock ‘n’ roll
Guitar, the amps, soul

Keith turns 68
Not quite as old as he looks
But he’s gaining ground

Rock’s reigning duo
Nearly half a century
Keith’s wrinkles, Mick’s lips

Dartford, Kent, birthplace
Of both Glimmer Twins; must be
Something in water

Sang in school trio
As a lad. How well? One time
They gigged for the queen

Rebel kids should know
Working class mum named Doris
Bought Keith’s first guitar

And his grandpa Gus
(Billed “Gus Dupree and His Boys”)
An inspiration

So were folks’ records
Satchmo and Duke Ellington,
Billie Holiday

Scotty Moore and Chuck
Caught Keith’s ear; he developed
His own classic style

No flashy solos
Likes having a guitar mate
“The … art of weaving”

So some overlook
That’s he’s one of the greatest
Chords, rhythm, best riffs

Acoustic guitars
Amped to sound electric, drive
Some of rock’s great songs

Yeah, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,”
“Street Fighting Man,” guitars
Acoustic all through

Don’t forget he writes
The great songs, too, with Jagger
No end to the hits

Knows he’s channeling
Life’s deeper mysteries, says he’s
“Antenna … not God”

Not his job to sing
But he does that too, I say
He’s got the silver

Earned his bad boy rep
Drug charges used to hound him
All around the world

Once fell out of tree
Cracked his coconut, delayed
A Stones tour six weeks

But he’s cleaned up act
Relatively, anyway
The last few decades

Yeah, today’s also
Wedding anniversary

He’s well read, would like
To be a librarian!
Helps good causes, too

Survivors like him
Often have depth, many sides
A lot going on

Keith — a man in full
It just goes to show you what
Clean living can do

Keith was the last main Stone unturned for me, though I haven’t written about Brian Jones, Mick Taylor, Ron Wood, Ian Stewart and some others. The earlier sets on Mick and the release of “Exile” have plenty to do with Keith, too. You can find them here by plugging “No moss” into the little search slot on the upper right of this page, along with my string on Charlie Watts. And type in “Bill Wyman” if you want to read about him.

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