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Book Corner: Life by Keith Richards

One of the first jobs Keith Richards applied for in his youth was at a London advertising agency. Lucky for the music world though, he decided on rock and roll. This may be a small connection, but the main reason I selected the autobiography Life is because he represents a product and brand that has lasted for over forty years. Like or dislike Rolling Stones music, you have to appreciate their ability to adapt to changing trends without sacrificing artistic integrity. They've maintained their popularity decade after decade in a market that is constantly changing. Comedians use their age as a punchline all the while they are filling stadiums with fans year after year.

With the brilliant marketing of their trademark tongue and being the first band to have corporate sponsorships of a rock tour, the Rolling Stones are truly a study in good business. The book Life has to be one of the most honest biographies I have ever read. Richards is candid about the darkest moments in his life as well as his bandmates. With detailed accounts of the band's rise and the conscious decisions they made about their image, Life is a great read for any music fan or study in pop culture. I was lucky to work for the band during their Steel Wheels and Bridges to Babylon tours, and I remember not only great shows but impressive business operations. It was a thrill to meet Keith in 1989 and it was a joy reading his Life.      
-Jim B

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