Art Vent

Letting the Fresh Air In

Keith Richards

Art Vent Letting the Fresh Air In

November 30, 2010

Speaking of citations, reading a book on an iPad (I haven’t used a Kindle), is a distinctly different experience. For one thing, there’s no need for an index because you can search, which is a boon to readers and publishers alike. But unless you can remember key words, leafing back to find something you want to reread can be laborious. With a “real” book, I was always able to find what I was searching for by somehow remembering where it was placed—right or left page, top or bottom—a helpful phenomenon that doesn’t exist when they’re all single pages. You can highlight paragraphs and make notes, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to collect them—or even find them again with any ease, which makes doing research extremely cumbersome. And as far as citations go, because every reader uses a different size font, page numbers are no longer useful for identifying where a quote occurs. 

Anyway, this is the quote that prompted that digression:

I can’t retire until I croak. There’s carping about us being old men. The fact is, I’ve always said, if we were black and our name was Count Basie or Duke Ellington, everybody would be going, yeah yeah yeah. White rockers are apparently not supposed to do this at our age.

Keith Richards, Life, Chapter 13.

Or if their names were Chuck Berry or Little Richard—a curious example of socially sanctioned ageism and racism. In discussing this over lunch the other day, my Latino friend pointed out that older Latinos dancing are always cool, where whites have to take shit if they’re over 40—unless, our 25-year-old companion observed, your name is David Bowie, in which case you can get away with anything.

Or Patti Smith, I’m thinking now, her memoir about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, Just Kids, a treatise on the nature of love, being the latest thing I consumed on my iPad, inhaling it in one day.

I found this on the Web, unattributed, but it’s clearly from the shoot Mapplethorpe did for the famous cover of Smith’s album “Horses,” one of just 12 photos he took that afternoon. (copyright may apply).