So many ageing performers are putting out albums of covers or songs from their back catalogue. There’s Neil Diamond, with Dreams. I’m not really a Neil Diamond fan but he can pick a good song. On this album I like Let It Be Me but not as much as I like Bob Dylan’s version on Self Portrait or, of course, the Everlys’ original. In fact I’ve just been making myself cry listening to the latter. Brian Wilson has brought out Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin. Sir Elton John said he realised he had to go back to go forwards which I suppose makes sense to him and he’s made The Union with early influence, Leon Russell. Steve Winwood sings his own old hits on Revolutions and they’re as terrific as ever.
So who’s not on this retro kick? What we are not hearing is Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones recording old songs. Keef has a book out, Life and I’ve read the first two chapters on a Kindle sample. The first chapter is all about a drugs bust by corrupt police in the southern States and is very dull if you find drugs and swearing boring. The second is better, about growing up in the badlands of Dartford in the early 1950s. Pre-publication hype suggested he’d said such hurtful things about Mick they’d never be able to work together again. In the first chapter of the book he describes a scrape Mick got them out of and says, ‘Why I love him.’
I wasn’t tempted to buy the rest of the book, though. This is a shame because when KR was interviewed by Andrew Graham-Dixon for The Culture Show he came over as intelligent, funny and totally committed to music. I think the programme is still on the iPlayer. I was interested that he said the version of Satisfaction which was rushed out by the record company was in his view the ‘sketch’ or ‘cartoon’ version. Hard to see how it could be better really. I was still at school when it came out and I only have to hear the ‘parp, parp’ of the opening bars to want to start dancing. Embarrassing, I know.
ETA I've just read Keith Richards' Diary 'as told to Craig Brown' in the latest issue of Private Eye. It's such f*****n brilliant s**t, man, I don't know why I bother to write anything at all. And he's obviously read the whole book. Read him.