Photo credits to Ian Gavan

Keith Richards gives up drinking: "It was time to quit"

music news 13/12/2018

Keith Richard has revealed that he has cut back on his drinking drastically.

In a new interview, Richards admitted that "it was time to quit". 

Speaking ahead of the recently announced North American 'No Filter' tour with the Rolling Stones, the guitarist told Rolling Stone that he had cut back on his drinking. 

“It’s been about a year now,” Richards says quietly. “I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it.” While he admits he still has “a glass of wine occasionally, and a beer” Richards says it was time to call quits along with "all the other stuff".

But I don’t notice any difference really – except for I don’t drink. I wasn’t feeling [right]. I’ve done it. I didn’t want that anymore.

Bandmate, Ronnie Wood who had previously gotten sober in 2010 after facing many drug-related issues says he couldn't be happier for Richards. “He’s a pleasure to work with,” Wood says. “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.’ ”

Wood says the drinking "just wasn't working anymore". He continues, “I think the Keith that we used to know and love had this cutoff point where if he had one more, he’d go over the top and he’d be nasty. The cutoff point became shorter and shorter, you know, and he realized that.”

Since Wood's sobriety, he says it prepared him for important life events such as the birth of his twins in 2016 and a lung cancer scare early this year.

“I was lucky to get on the wagon when I did and was ready for all the stuff that came at me, cancer and all that. Luckily it was all in one place and I had it removed. I got my life again – I got a second chance and my little girls and my whole life now is so much better. I think Keith is seeing that kind of thing as well. And then he went on to the beers for a while, he cut down slowly, and now, you know, good luck to him. If he’s gonna keep it up, I’ll be there, full support.”

Richards indicated that performing onstage sober during the band's shows this year had a huge difference. He finds it interesting to play sober, while Wood says, “We’re weaving [guitar parts] a lot more conscientiously now. 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?”