Jul 142011

From the desk of E. Pluribus Gergely.

Steven Roby and and Brad Schreiber‘s new book, entitled Becoming Jimi Hendrix, sheds new light on Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards. During the spring and summer of July 1965, Richards’ girlfriend, British model Linda Keith, found herself in Greenwich Village, making frequent visits to Cafe Wha ?, where she first saw Jimi Hendrix perform. After frequent visits, Hendrix became romantically involved with Keith (Linda, that is). When Richards found out about the affair, he called Linda Keith’s parents and warned them that she had become involved with a “black junkie.” Keith’s (Linda’s, that is) well-to-do father immediately flew to New York and dragged her home.

Simply put, Richards’ reputation as Bad Ass Mother No. 1 is at stake. RTH is asking that Richards come forth to tell his side of the story.

What's worse, dating Keef, dating Jimi, or this '70s-era Linda Keith ensemble?

By the way, did you know that Keef wrote “Ruby Tuesday” for Linda Keith? Readers of Richards’ Life might recall that story and his account of the “telling on daddy” story. Nevertheless, RTH demands a full account from the King of Cool.


  31 Responses to “RTH Special Report: King of Cool in Danger of Losing His Crown”

  1. That’s a little different than what Linda herself told NPR last year. She said she met Jimi in May 1966 at the Cheetah Club. Who’s telling the truth?

    By the way, I have an issue with the latest RTH Poll. Is Axis: Bold as Love really post-peak? I don’t think so.

  2. schneids

    that’s not cool, man.

  3. saturnismine

    Axis is his best album…far and away.

    Hendrix scared all of them. In the documentary on Hendrix, Townshend tells a story about how after Hendrix started to take London by storm, Eric Clapton called Townshend “out of the blue” and meekly asked Townshend to a movie. He felt as though Clapton needed to circle the wagons and bond with his English mates in the face of the threat posed to them by this super talented black blues guy from outerspace. He was an English white blues boy’s worst nightmare, not least of all because of his color, which gave him a more authentic attachment to the blues than they had.

    Townshend also says that upon seeing Hendrix, Jeff Beck rang him up and said “this guy’s stealing your act.”

    Townshend’s own reaction to having to play after a bombastic Hendrix set on a bill was to “stand there and strum.” At Monterey, he insisted on opening for Hendrix instead.

    So Keith’s backstabbing act doesn’t seem all that out of place. And he could probably tell the story in a way that makes his actions *seem* more badass than they really were (I imagine the story ending with him saying something like “so don’t cross me man…I had to do it…she had it coming to her…off to the states with ya, babe…back to mummy and daddy.” But that doesn’t make it badass. It’s pretty lame.

  4. saturnismine

    And by the way…Linda Keith comes off as a really chatty coke fiend in the Hendrix documentary. VERY unattractive….

  5. tonyola

    Actually, neither the Who or Hendrix wanted to open for each other at Monterrey – both acts insisted upon closing the show. The issue was decided by a coin toss which Townshend lost.

  6. misterioso

    Agreed on Axis. I mean, c’mon. 1) It’s a terrific album and 2) It was released THE SAME YEAR as his first record, which, I assume, is being taken as his “peak,” unless he peaked with the late ’66 release of his first single, Hey Joe. This seems like slicing things pretty thin. The guy only had about four years of recording. At least be generous enough to give him a full year as his “peak” (though any sane person would give him Electric Ladyland, too, since even if it does have a little fat on it it is still brilliant).

  7. misterioso

    Yeah, this is soooo weird! Keith otherwise seems like a 100% reliable friend. Just ask Brian. Or Gram Parsons. Or Mick.

  8. tonyola

    Or Ry Cooder. Cooder has said that he was brought into the Stones circle mainly for Keith to steal his ideas and licks.

  9. misterioso

    I thought it was decided by Pete Seeger taking an axe and chopping up bits of tape that George Martin threw up in the air and Al Kooper spliced them back together at the organ, or am I getting my twice-told rock tales mixed up again?

  10. saturnismine

    I see RTH’s off-topic-nitpicking-is-really-great policy is still in effect, eh?

    yeah, yeah, we all know that Hendrix didn’t want to open for them, either.

    But there’s no coin flip in the Townshend telling of the story, in which his insistence wins out.


  11. tonyola

    The pot calls the kettle black.

  12. misterioso

    In the version I heard from a reliable source, both Hendrix and Townsend wanted The Association to close.

    Seriously, though, if this listing is accurate, it wasn’t a question of closing the show so much as who was going to play before whom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monterey_Pop_Festival_%28Set_List%29

    And, yes, I know this is total nitpicking. I guess I always had assumed one of them had closed the festival (which in a way would have been weird since neither was really that popular yet in the U.S.).

  13. saturnismine

    hey…i was the KING of that dipshit club for years.

    if ya can’t beat ’em…

  14. I thought it was settled by rock, paper, scissors.

  15. alexmagic

    I agree with sat that Axis is probably the peak for Hendrix. This “post-peak” poll is probably the most flawed poll we’ve had here, and I will not be partaking in protest.

    On the story in this post: I like the idea that we have, at the very least, stories of Hendrix getting one over on The Who and The Stones (via Keith). I wish there were more of these, like a story of Jimi beating all four Beatles at once in a game of foosball (all of them on once side, Jimi playing alone on the other) or tricking The Spencer Davis Group into painting a fence for him.

  16. alexmagic

    Yeah, the version I’ve heard – which may be the one in that clip, I can’t watch it right now – was that it was a battle of who had the right to play after the other (and, they assumed, have the best chance to show the other one up), and that Pete basically pulled rank on Hendrix. I also remember a part of it being that Jimi’s response to Pete’s rank-pulling was to get up on a chair in the dressing room and angrily play guitar at Townshend, but it’s entirely possible that I made that part up.

    But anyway, yeah, this all leads into Jimi’s solution of knowing the Who playbook and making sure they can’t top him by invoking the “I don’t know the scientific explanation, but fire made it good” rule.

  17. I wonder if Hendrix went after Pattie Boyd, too. Like Mick and Lennon did — with Clapton winning the prize.

  18. mockcarr

    His most famous feat was convincing everyone he was dead.

  19. saturnismine

    Hendrix also taught doug henning every single god damned trick he knows, and he convinced John Denver that booze is better than weed. How’s THAT for a legacy?

    Alex, thanks for your Axis Bold as Love support. I know we can take on BigSteve, just like old times.

    your post reminds me of the Simpson’s scene where Homer dreams that he’s having a stroll through heaven with God, and walks past an air hockey game between Hendrix and Ben Franklin.

    BF: “that’s game, hendrix!”
    JH: stupefied expression.

  20. Yeah, but Cooder bitches about nearly EVERYONE he’s ever worked for as a sideman. Whiner. Very talented whiner, but still a whiner…

    The Keith & Anita thing…it takes two to tango. Also, by all accounts, Brian was a woman-beater and general colossal, wasted, paranoid asshole to deal with by that time. All’s fair, etc., etc.

    Gram would have done a fine job destroying himself even if Keith hadn’t been in the picture. It’s not as though Richards was in the minority when it came to being a drug-besotted rock musician in those days.

    He and Jagger have had to deal with each other constantly since the early 60s – how could that not breed a fair amount of contempt – from both sides

    That said, Keith does appear to be a ruthless mo’ fo’ much of the time. His persona IS supposed to be that of a “bad-ass”, not a “nice guy”, so I don’t see how any of this, including the Hendrix thing, goes against that. It’s all just “public image”, anyway.

  21. saturnismine

    You’re dead on about Cooder, bobby.

  22. hrrundivbakshi


  23. saturnismine

    “I don’t know the scientific explanation, but fire made it good”

    ahhh…The Flaming Homer episode.

    It was just on in German last night, after the Japan / Sweden game!

  24. 2000 Man

    How does Keef lose cool points for that? I’d think having Jimi Hendrix owe you a huge favor for getting that crazy chick off your back is pretty cool, indeed.

  25. saturnismine

    that’s some good postin’ right there. ^^^

  26. Moderator,

    Have you heard from Keef yet?

    Hope to hear from you soon.
    E. Pluribus

  27. No. Honestly, I’m discouraged. He may have to forfeit his right to be the last man on earth allowed to drop the term “spade.”

  28. You said it!

  29. 2000man,

    How about you? Have you heard from Keef?

  30. RTHers,

    If any of you have heard from Keef, please let me know. I’ll be in my room, with the shades down, drinking cough syrup.

    Not doing well,

    E. Pluribus

  31. 2000 Man

    No, sorry. I hear he’s writing songs for an album to compete with Mick’s new band, Super Shitty.

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