Keith Richards wasn’t taking much responsibility for his personal celebrity Friday night.
This story first appeared in the December 7, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“Things just…happen,” he said with a grin. “I never wanted to be a ‘somebody,’ I just wanted to be a good musician. And those two things go together…you realize that you have to be famous to be able to make good music. Double trick.”
He gestured with a loose hand at his surroundings — a private, 40-seat dinner Louis Vuitton was hosting at the Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose Bar in honor of his recently published autobiography, “Life.” The family Richards struck a surprisingly cuddly pose, considering their rock ’n’ roll cred. Richards’ wife, Patti Hansen, repeatedly pet their daughters, Theodora and Alexandra, and referred to them often as her “babies.” Richards —- bandana, eyeliner and skull-scarf in place — switched tables halfway through the meal in order to sit with the missus.
And what of the text at hand?
“I haven’t finished ‘Life’ yet,” Hansen admitted. “After 30 years of marriage, you kind of figure you know the story. I’ve got it on my Kindle. It’s a little tough. There’s some things…like him having sex with [former love interest] Anita [Pallenberg] and then smelling the orange? Man, it breaks your heart a little. You don’t want to read that. Because that’s deep!”
New York luminaries and Vuitton executives were among those who joined the family for the three-course dinner. Fran Lebowitz posted herself at the bar to receive visitors, and Alec Baldwin, Jimmy Fallon, Charlie Rose, John McEnroe and Patty Smyth all sidled up to chat. A midnight toast for the man of the night found Richards seated next to McEnroe. Both men sported a style of wire-rim spectacles generally favored by the senior set, as they intently peered at a video on the tennis legend’s iPhone. The duo might have been mistaken for any old pair of sixtysomethings were it not for Richards’ enduring patina of cool. He laughed when asked on casting preferences should “Life” become a movie.
“I’d leave it to somebody else to look around for someone like me,” Richards said. “I mean, good luck!”