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Cross-generational gifts are often the hardest to choose, but we’ve found the perfect one: Keith Richards’ Life.

It sounds unlikely, we know, but if you’ve got any grandparents with a deep interest in history and/or chemistry, they might get more out of it than you think. Here’s why:

He Appreciates Fine Clothing
He had a cupboard full of fantastic double-breasted suits, all superbly made…and he used to keep spare jacks, a sixth of a grain—it was six jacks to a grain of heroin— loose in these suit pockets, so he’d be going to the cupboard and going through all the pockets to find the odd spare jack.

He Knows the Importance of a Balanced Breakfast
I would take a barbiturate to wake up, a recreational high compared to heroin, though just as dangerous in its own way. That was breakfast… And then a take a hot cup of tea and consider getting up or not. And later maybe a Mandrax or quaalude.

He Can Keep the Narrative on Track
…on drums was Jimmy Gordon, who was out of high school doing that. He was also Delaney & Bonnie’s drummer and Derek and the Dominoes drummer. Eventually he hacked his mother to death in a schizophrenic rage and was sentenced to life in California. But that’s another story.

He Saves a Kitten
At the other end of this sewer pipe on the walkway was a sodden little kitten…and he was looking at me, this little runt. And I said, fuck it, all right, come on…put him in my pocket of this floor-length leopard bathrobe…Pierre and I tried the basic thing, got a saucer of milk, shoved his head in it, and he went for it.

Granddad will never be the same.

—A.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Andrew Bradbury