Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards is now officially an octogerian. He and wife Patti Hansen (along with fellow Stone Ronnie Wood, his wife Sally and 7-year-old twins Gracie and Alice) celebrated the milestone 80th birthday on the beach at Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos.
Of course, Richards' longtime collaborator, bandmate and occasional sparring partner Mick Jagger posted a birthday greeting for his other half on his Instagram:
And while all this seems nary a ripple in the time/space continuum, it wasn't all that long ago that Keith Richards was stumbling around, keeping time with Charlie Watts and also hoping to God he would continue on as rock and roll's chief instigator of Defy the Experts.
For decades, there was little doubt in the reams of columns written since Richards stepped up to the mic that he would either end up unconscious on a curb somewhere in the world or maybe — finally? — just hang it up, retire and call it even that he beat the odds.
Nope, that kind of thinking is way off the mark. In fact, Richards has gotten wiser, funnier and more insightful every day since... well, since whenever he decided everyone else was not "getting it." Some part of the Glimmer Twins moniker just kind of fell by the wayside after his marriage to model and actress Patti Hansen in 1983. We said farewell to that bad boy behavior that killed Brian Jones, and got someone who played the guitar like his life literally depended on it.
Richards had already seemingly lived several lifetimes when he published his 564-page memoir, Life, back in 2010, and he's added multiple new chapters since then. The Rolling Stones' October release Hackney Diamonds has preoccupied much of the rock music discourse for the past three months, with an inevitable tour yet to come. Yes, we're still reeling from the fact that Richards can handle all those licks — he jokes that his hands are so gnarled, he can't remove the skull ring — and won't for one second acquiesce to any of the naysayers who believe his time is over. I mean, who the heck else can play open G tuning on an acoustic guitar and get an audience whooping in three seconds?
And if you're gonna tour, by all means, hit your demographic. And then some. Get your AARP ya-ya's out and let them know they are special. And don't talk down to the Gen X , Y or Z... go after the cooler-than-sh*t people who understand two words are all you need in this world of drum machines, sampling and dancing: Keef Riffhard.
Given the never-ending queries about how he is still here, Richards has an entire arsenal of comebacks, some serious, some not. He told GQ Magazine in 2020, "Every day is a pleasure. I mean, I don't wish to defy anybody's predictions, and I'm really not interested in them. But I'll croak when I croak, and everybody will know."