Keith Richards celebrates his birthday today (December 18), and it goes without saying that rock and roll needs more characters like him.

Seriously, very few people in rock history are as iconic as Keef. From sheer stage presence, to fashion, to the fact that he’ll just say pretty much anything, he’s just the best. He’s a guy that’s difficult not to love or, at the very least, respect. After all, you have to be a cut above the rest if you’ve managed to have a music career for over 60 years.

At the same time, Richards has shown that he’s also pretty “Salt of the Earth,” even though he’s a legend. For crying out loud, he admitted to being just like all of us during the pandemic. In November 2020, he told GQ that his pandemic style has been, “Very baggy soft things.” Also, he says he calls sweatpants “comfies,” which is rather adorable.

With this in mind (and more), here is a brief look at five reasons why we think Keef is basically immortal and will live forever.

(Oh, and happy anniversary to Richards and his wife, Patti Hansen! The couple wed on the guitarist’s 40th birthday, which means they celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2023. Hansen is undoubtedly one strong woman to make an honest man out of one of rock’s wildest figures for four decades.)

  • 5. Frankly, he doesn’t give a damn.

    There a plenty of examples to point to for this, but let’s just focus on the year 2015. In 2015, Keith said a number of wild things, from calling The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band “rubbish” and referring to Black Sabbath and Metallica as “great jokes.”  Regardless if he said those things simply to get attention during the lead-up to his solo album Crosseyed Heart, one thing’s for sure:  He clearly doesn’t give a damn, and we love him for it.

  • 4.  Even in his 70s, he played through the pain.

    Keef is one tough S.O.B.

    On The Rolling Stones’ Zip Code Tour in 2015, Keith took a tumble during a show in Indianapolis and cracked a rib. Keith said, “I thought, ‘Sh*t, if I let them know how much I’m hurting, the doctors and the insurance companies will be like, ‘Cancel the next gigs. F-ck it. I’ll live with it. After 50 years on the stage you’re going to fall over occasionally and take a knock.”

  • 3. He’s the epitome of “cool.”

    From the way he tells a story to what he wears, Keith is just one cool mofo.  What proof?  Listen to the answer he gives to Jimmy Fallon about why he wears his Courts and Hackett skull ring and chain cuff bracelet. (Spoiler: One answer is surprisingly touching, while the other is unsurprisingly hilarious.)

  • 2. He genuinely loves music.

    If you haven’t watched Keith Richards: Under the Influence yet, shame on you! There are many stories shared in this incredible film, but the biggest takeaway is Keith’s passion for what he does. He loves music, and he loves to perform. To see that that fire still burns bright after his decades-long career is nothing short of inspiring. Whether you want to watch this film under the influence is up to you. We won’t judge you, and we doubt Keith would either.

  • 1. He’s responsible for some of rock’s greatest songs/riffs.

    While all of the stories of rock and roll excess are incredibly fascinating, make no mistake that at the end of the day, it’s the music Keith has helped create that makes him the force he is.  For over 60 years, the world has had the pleasure of taking in all of that incredible music, and long after he’s gone physically, he will continue to live on through the stellar catalog beloved by the masses.

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