On Eve of 75th Birthday, Keith Richards Says He Dropped Drinking

Keith Richards says he's sober - Photo by Raph
Keith Richards says he's sober - Photo by Raph


On the eve of his 75th birthday, rock star Keith Richards says he’s looking forward to the U.S. leg of the No Filter tour and he’ll be doing it in sober style.

The mere mention of this conjures up giggles, and his rock and roll image is something Richards has nurtured over the years. But, branded as he may be as a wild partying guy, the Stones’ guitarist says he’s “fed up with” drinking and he was just ready to quit. 

Remarkably, Richards, turns 75 on Dec. 18, and he told Rolling Stone that he has actually noticed a difference since he stopped imbibing to excess about a year ago. 

The Rolling Stones are gearing up for the U.S. leg of the No Filter Tour – Photo by Raph

‘Interesting’ to Play Sober, Keef Says

“It was interesting to play sober,” he said. “It’s been about a year now. I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it.” 

He said he will have “a glass of wine occasionally, and a beer. It was time to quit. Just like all the other stuff.” 

Richards said he feels pretty much the same, “except for I don’t drink. I wasn’t feeling [right]. I’ve done it. I didn’t want that anymore.”

Ron Wood, who was also interviewed for the piece, quit drinking in 2010 and said he can relate to Richards’ alcohol fatigue. He said his bandmate has undergone a change of sorts.

“He’s a pleasure to work with,” Wood said. “Much more mellow. He’s open to more ideas, whereas before I’d kind of grit my teeth and go, ‘He’s gonna give me some shit for saying this.’ Now, he’ll say, ‘That’s cool, man.’ ”

Charlie Watts wouldn't be happy retired, bandmates say - Photo by Raph
Charlie Watts wouldn’t be happy retired, bandmates say – Photo by Raph

Charlie Watts’ Retirement Comments

While Charlie Watts may have hinted at retirement, the bandmates said Watts is truly happy when on stage so it seems unlikely.

Wood also said that the Rolling Stones still rock out.

“We’re weaving [guitar parts] a lot more conscientiously now,” Wood told the magazine. “We’re much more aware of the gaps and the spaces between. We’re in our seventies, but we’re still rocking like we’re 40 year olds, you know?”

The Stones are working on their first LP of original songs since the 2005  release A Bigger Bang. As far as touring, it’s anyone’s guess how many more years are left in the Rolling Stones.

“Maybe this will be the last one,” Richards said. “It’s what I do, man. Give me 50,000 people and I feel right at home. As Ronnie and I often say before we go on, ‘Let’s get onstage and get some peace and quiet.’ ” 

Keith Richards prepping for a sober No Filter Tour - Photo by Raph
Keith Richards prepping for a sober No Filter Tour – Photo by Raph

No Filter Tour Hits Pasadena May 11

The Rolling Stones’ No Filter Tour comes to the Rose Bowl May 11, 2019.  The tour kicks off in Miami on April 20 and wraps in Chicago on June 25, 2019.

For more information go to The Rolling Stones website. Read Keith’s comments at Rolling Stone

Rolling Stones No Filter – Prague, July 4, 2018 – courtesy of progress6: