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Keith Richards Looks Back: ‘It All Started Kind of by Accident’

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The Rolling Stones are heading to Australia in the spring as part of their 2014 tour, but Keith Richards is already there — on TV, anyway.

The legendary guitarist sat down for an interview during a recent episode of ‘60 Minutes Australia‘ to discuss his storied career, starting from the very beginning — a time when starting a band meant hunting for what Richards referred to as “a few like-minded guys.”

“Suddenly you bumped into somebody,” recalled Richards. “‘Hey, did you hear that? Can you play a bit?’ It all started kind of by accident.” Problem was, at the time, those accidents were few and far between, thanks to the then-prevailing wisdom that making music meant going through years of schooling. It wasn’t until Lonnie Donegan’s skiffle hits started taking off that “ordinary guys, not trained musicians, that never thought about it” understood that “you can actually make music that turns people on without having to go to the Royal Academy of Music, without having formal training.”

Continued Richards, “There’s music inside people. It’s called folk music, basically. It’s minstrels. It’s passed on without any formality.”

Talk then turned to one of the Stones’ early signature hits, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.’ Looking back on the way the song resonated with such a huge audience, Richards suggested that it was “the first time I think it had been pointed out that you’re being targeted every minute of your life, whatever you turn on or listen to, that somebody’s after your money. It depends where you want to put it.”

The Stones have taken home plenty of other people’s money over the past 50 years, and their fan base now runs from teens to listeners in the band members’ own age group. “We crossed the generation gaps somehow,” chuckled Richards. “I can only presume it’s good music, and everybody’s had a good feeling when they hear it. There’s the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, and then there’s the Rolling Stones. I guess we’re part of the furniture, you know?”

Next: Top 10 Keith Richards Rolling Stones Songs

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