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The Icon: Keith Richards


We’ll have a bit more to say on Keith Richards’ new magnum opus once we’ve been through it a few more times, but in the meantime we thought we’d acknowledge the man as one of the leading style icons of rock ‘n’ roll.

Perfectly Embodied: When people talk about dressing like a rock star, they’re talking about dressing like Keith Richards. (Yes, even when he's passed out.) By now, he’s got Lenny Kravitz, Steven Tyler, Johnny Depp and half of Los Angeles biting his style, right down the flowing scarves and the untameable shag. It’s hard to remember now that the look’s over 40 years old, but there was a time when this stuff was brand new. For proof the vagabond look transcends clothes, see here. Oh, and here too.

Words of Wisdom: (on Mick’s knighthood, via BBC) I thought it was ludicrous to take one of those gongs from the establishment when they did their very best to throw us in jail.

The Backstory: He’s not kidding. In the 15 years after the Stones hit it big, Richards was dinged for drug possession no less than five times, resulting in a night in jail in ’67 along with a year of probation and a few benefit gigs in the 70s. Being the poster child for rock ‘n’ roll excess isn’t easy, although it’s occasionally good enough to get you out of a parking ticket.

The Gutsy Move:Mr. Richards has faced two equally destructive vices: heroin and animal prints. He has overcome both, even as they destroy countless others who follow after him.

The Takeaway: All told, it’s a pretty spectacular show: equal parts bluesman, gypsy and plain old hippie. We salute you, sir. Just don’t try this at home.