Rock Docs: Keith Richards - Under The Influence

Scott reviews Keith Richards: Under the Influence

“Faith is just an excuse for a war that pays my rent.”

The question a lot of us had for many years was “Who are we going to lose first?  Keith Richards or Lemmy?”  Both men, with 40 plus years of hard living behind them, were the most public about their pure Rock n’ Roll lifestyle, hence the speculation of who was going to leave us before the other.  Unfortunately, that question was answered in December of 2015 with the passing of Lemmy, and nothing has been the same since.

Even Keith can Netflix and Chill. 

Keith Richards: Under the Influence really threw me for a curve initially.  I thought, going into this film, I was just going to be watching 84 minutes of dimly lit face shots with an aging rocker telling stories in between drags from his cigarette.  These are the times that I love being wrong.  Keith Richards: Under the Influence is a beautifully shot piece on the legend and survivor, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.  We get to go into the legend's house, we see some of his record collection, and we begin to learn where his inspiration comes from.

Keith Richards: Under the Influence is not a documentary on The Rolling Stones, even though The Rolling Stones is woven into the fabric of the film much like Keith’s life.  Keith Richards: Under the Influence, takes us to Keith Richard’s ‘real’ home, the recording studio, where you are treated to wonderful, candid shots of Keith working on a craft he had a hand in inventing.  Looking at Keith Richards is like looking at a living sculpture.  He is literally art in motion and more full of life and passion at 72 than most teenagers.

under the influence
Someone get me some Jergens. 
One of the things that Keith states in the beginning of the film is that music has always been the center of everything for him, and that is always the way he has seen it.  It is something we cannot explain, “But it is good fun exploring it”.  This statement echoes my views and it comes off of this gruff looking sculpture of a man with the charm and innocence of a child.

I have heard the term “Rock n’ Roll is Dead” being said for years.  When I hear that I always laugh, because men like Keith Richards have left such a strong imprint on the minds and more importantly the hearts of millions of people with his music.  When the day comes that, like the great Lemmy Kilmister, Mr. Richards leaves us, I have 100% faith that there will be many more happily read to carry on his legacy.


-Scott W. Lambert

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