THIEF IN THE NIGHT: “I write one book and I get an award — s–t happens,” Keith Richards laughed, accepting the Mailer Prize for Distinguished Biography on Tuesday evening as Gay Talese, Elie Wiesel and Tina Brown looked on. “I don’t want to be too flippant about this,” he added, dramatically lowering his voice into the microphone, “but I feel like a thief in the night.” Talese and Wiesel also took home prizes during the event, the third annual Norman Mailer Center Benefit Gala, held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
A few times during his remarks, Richards expressed his unease to be in front of the audience without his guitar. “But I realized I’ve been writing since I was 16. They’re called songs, only they’re for two minutes-thirty, then you’re out of there.” A rock star of a different sort, Bill Clinton, introduced the Rolling Stones guitarist, calling him a “heck of a good writer,” adding, “If you read 10 pages of this book, you won’t be able to put it down.”
This story first appeared in the November 10, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.