Keith Richards Memoir Writer James Fox Speaks

The making-of a rock roll memoir:

Their sessions took place at a table, with the two participants seated at a 90-degree angle from one another. Instead of moving chronologically, Fox encouraged Richards to allow his mind to “dart about.” Some sessions lasted hours and some, dealing with the more painful parts of Richards’ life, lasted just minutes, “and then he would depart in tears.” The one constant was music, which Richards always kept playing in the background.

… “He wanted to hear the book,” Fox says. “We sat down at a table with the manuscript, and I read the whole thing. The longest I’d ever read was to my son at bedtime, 25 minutes. This was a week of reading aloud. There is a musical rhythm to his prose, dots and dashes and that kind of stuff. He turned out to be a really natural editor. He cut according to the sound of it. He’d say, ‘We’ll cut eight lines here. Cut this, cut that,’ all depending on how it sounded. And I never disagreed.”

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