Keith Richards Cuts Back On Drinking: "I Got Fed Up With It"

By Bryan Le 12/17/18

Keith Richards revealed in a new interview that he has nearly given up on drinking entirely. 

Keith Richards revealed that he only drinks occasionally

Keith Richards, the 74-year-old guitarist for the Rolling Stones, is now living a nearly sober life, giving up alcohol use almost entirely. The move comes as something of a surprise, given Richards’ and the bands’ reputation for excess substance use and abuse.

“It's been about a year now,” Richards said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. “I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it.”

To be clear, the legendary rocker isn’t totally sober; he still goes for “a glass of wine occasionally, and a beer,” but his new regime is a far cry from his old habits. As for the reason he quit, Richards believes it was simply time.

“It was time to quit,” he said in the interview. “Just like all the other stuff.”

Richards isn’t the only member of the Rolling Stones who has mended their habits. Guitarist Ronnie Wood has been totally sober since 2010, and he says he’s noticed a big change since Richards decided to stop drinking.

“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 s**t for saying this.' Now, he'll say, 'That's cool, man.'”

Richards also noticed a difference. “It was interesting to play sober,” he observed.

Even after decades of music-making, the band isn’t resting on their laurels. The band has just announced a 2019 US tour. Notably missing from the stops is Atlantic City, where the band once ran into some conflict with Donald Trump in 1989, long before he became president. Hearing that the show would be billed as “Donald Trump presents the Rolling Stones,” Richards had fumed.

“I got out my trusty blade, stuck it in the table and said: ‘You have to get rid of this man,’” Richards recalled.

The band clashed with Trump again recently when he started playing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” at his rallies without the Stones’ permission, and the band had to ask Trump’s campaign to stop using the song.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter