The legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has revealed more details about his past and present habits of drug and alcohol use, as well as his views on ageing and pop music, in a candid interview with The Telegraph.

From Nuclear Waste to Straight Edge

Richards, who is known for his notorious reputation of following a questionable diet of drugs and alcohol over the years, said that he has given up most of his vices and is now trying to enjoy being sober.

Keith Richards Opens Up About His Clean Lifestyle: “It’s a Unique Experience for Me”
Keith Richards Opens Up About His Clean Lifestyle: “It’s a Unique Experience for Me”

“The cigarettes I gave up in 2019,” he shared. “I haven’t touched them since. I gave up heroin in 1978. I gave up cocaine in 2006. I still like a drink occasionally – because I’m not going to heaven any time soon – but apart from that, I’m trying to enjoy being straight. It’s a unique experience for me.”

He also recalled his former preferred drink of choice of vodka and orange soda, which he nicknamed “Nuclear Waste”, and said that he has since “given that up” as well.

Blessed with Longevity

The 79-year-old rocker also expressed his gratitude for his physical health and his fascination with the ageing process, saying that he has no real problem with getting old.

“I’m blessed, maybe, that physically this thing just keeps going,” he said, referring to his body. “So far, I have no real problem with getting old. There are some horrific things that you can see in the future, but you’ve got to get there.”

He added: “I’m getting along with the idea of being 80, and still walking, still talking. I find [ageing] a fascinating process. But then, if you didn’t, you might as well commit suicide.”

Ready for a New Album

Despite his advanced age, Richards has shown more vitality than the typical near-octogenarian as he and The Rolling Stones prepare to release their latest LP, Hackney Diamonds, on October 20th.

The album marks their first album of original material in 18 years and features two contributions from late drummer Charlie Watts as well as confirmed guest appearances by Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and more.

The album’s lead single Angry is available to stream now, with a music video starring Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney.

The band have also announced that there is to be a documentary film made in connection with Hackney Diamonds, with production by Fulwell 73, the team that makes The Kardashians.

A source close to the project said the film will “give followers an intimate and candid look at Mick [Jagger], Keith and Ronnie [Wood] as they work their magic in the studio, including the banter between them.”

Not a Fan of Pop Music

In addition to shedding light on his relationship with drugs and alcohol, Richards also discussed his opinions on modern pop music, stating: “I don’t want to start complaining about pop music, it’s always been rubbish. I mean, that’s the point of it.”

When asked whether he was a fan of hip-hop, he said: “I don’t really like to hear people yelling at me and telling me it’s music, AKA rap. I can get enough of that without leaving my house.”


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