Credit: Bent Rej/Wiki

An 18-year-old Keith Richards writes a letter describing the first time he met Mick Jagger

Few partnerships can last 50 years. When you consider that the partnership Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have shared has been under the constant spotlight and subjected to the tumultuous life of a rock star, it’s almost unbelievable that they’re still friends.

Like any friendship, Richards and Jagger’s relationship has to start somewhere and that place was a chance-happening when the ‘Glimmer Twins’ crossed paths in London. In the letter below, an 18-year-old Richards describes meeting Jagger for the first time.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were a songwriting force to be reckoned with. Though not always equipped with the subtlety of some of their contemporaries, what they lacked in perceived kudos from the intelligentsia they made up for in foot-stomping, hip-swaying, party-starting rock and roll.

In truth, we won’t dawdle on the pair’s triumphs within The Rolling Stones, chances are you not only know them all but have them stacked on your vinyl shelf. Instead, we’re taking a trip back to 1960s England and the outskirts of London where two children would become friends and, in time, legends.

Richards is writing to his Aunt Patty in the letter below, a correspondence which was detailed in the musician’s autobiography Life. In the letter, the guitarist regales Patty with how he met this new kid, Jagger. The letter reads: “You know I was keen on Chuck Berry and I thought I was the only fan for miles but one mornin’ on Dartford Stn. (that’s so I don’t have to write a long word like station) I was holding one of Chuck’s records when a guy I knew at primary school 7-11 yrs y’know came up to me.

“He’s got every record Chuck Berry ever made and all his mates have too, they are all rhythm and blues fans, real R&B I mean (not this Dinah Shore, Brook Benton crap) Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Chuck, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker all the Chicago bluesmen real lowdown stuff, marvellous,” writes Richards.

Richards goes a little further with the chance meeting and offered up a vision of his future: “Anyways the guy on the station, he is called Mick Jagger and all the chicks and the boys meet every Saturday morning in the ‘Carousel’ some juke-joint well one morning in Jan I was walking past and decided to look him up. Everybody’s all over me I get invited to about 10 parties.” He also left one glowing endorsement, “Beside that Mick is the greatest R&B singer this side of the Atlantic and I don’t mean maybe.”

Richards also describes travelling to a big “detached house” with Jagger and meeting a butler, after having a vodka lime brought to him he was smitten with the high-life. “I really felt like a lord, nearly asked for my coronet when I left.” A sign of things to come and the band would be performing at the Marquee Club just a few weeks later.

Read the full transcript of Keith Richard’s letter describing meeting Mick Jagger for the very first time, below.

Dear Pat,

So sorry not to have written before (I plead insane) in bluebottle voice. Exit right amid deafening applause.

I do hope you’re very well.

We have survived yet another glorious English Winter. I wonder which day Summer falls on this year?

Oh but my dear I have been soooo busy since Christmas beside working at school. You know I was keen on Chuck Berry and I thought I was the only fan for miles but one mornin’ on Dartford Stn. (that’s so I don’t have to write a long word like station) I was holding one of Chuck’s records when a guy I knew at primary school 7-11 yrs y’know came up to me. He’s got every record Chuck Berry ever made and all his mates have too, they are all rhythm and blues fans, real R&B I mean (not this Dinah Shore, Brook Benton crap) Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Chuck, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker all the Chicago bluesmen real lowdown stuff, marvelous. Bo Diddley he’s another great.

Anyways the guy on the station, he is called Mick Jagger and all the chicks and the boys meet every Saturday morning in the ‘Carousel’ some juke-joint well one morning in Jan I was walking past and decided to look him up. Everybody’s all over me I get invited to about 10 parties. Beside that Mick is the greatest R&B singer this side of the Atlantic and I don’t mean maybe. I play guitar (electric) Chuck style we got us a bass player and drummer and rhythm-guitar and we practice 2 or 3 nights a week. SWINGIN’.

Of course they’re all rolling in money and in massive detached houses, crazy, one’s even got a butler. I went round there with Mick (in the car of course Mick’s not mine of course) OH BOY ENGLISH IS IMPOSSIBLE.

“Can I get you anything, sir?”
“Vodka and lime, please”
“Certainly, sir”

I really felt like a lord, nearly asked for my coronet when I left.

Everything here is just fine.

I just can’t lay off Chuck Berry though, I recently got an LP of his straight from Chess Records Chicago cost me less than an English record.

Of course we’ve still got the old Lags here y’know Cliff Richard, Adam Faith and 2 new shockers Shane Fenton and Jora Leyton SUCH CRAP YOU HAVE NEVER HEARD. Except for that greaseball Sinatra ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Still I don’t get bored anymore. This Saturday I am going to an all night party.

“I looked at my watch
It was four-o-five
Man I didn’t know
If I was dead or alive”
Quote Chuck Berry
Reeling and a Rocking

12 galls of Beer Barrel of Cyder, 3 bottle Whiskey Wine. Her ma and pa gone away for the weekend I’ll twist myself till I drop (I’m glad to say).

The Saturday after Mick and I are taking 2 girls over to our favourite Rhythm & Blues club over in Ealing, Middlesex.

They got a guy on electric harmonica Cyril Davies fabulous always half drunk unshaven plays like a mad man, marvelous.

Well then I can’t think of anything else to bore you with, so I’ll sign off goodnight viewers

BIG GRIN

Luff
Keith xxxxx
Who else would write such bloody crap

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