Rock and Roll childcare: The time Keith Richards spent as a Nanny in 1973
The Rolling Stones guitarist, Keith Richards, has been a part of a wild tale or two. From allegedly snorting his father’s ashes to being electrocuted on stage, ‘Keef’ has seen it all. Yet one of the weirder stories sees Richards in a picture of domesticity.
In a bizarre tale from his memoir Life, Keith Richards shared a time he went off-grid and became a rock and roll nanny to a young boy in Melbourne—all the while reportedly staying with his mother for her cocaine connection.
The story goes that while The Rolling Stones were in the middle of their 1973 tour in Australia when Richards was at the height of his drug addiction. His penchant for cocaine had moved off the streets and into the pharmaceutical world, it was a slippery slope.
The band would go on to suffer from the drug’s domination over their two guitarists Richards and Ronnie Wood, even seeing them create hideaways on stage for bumps between songs, It would, however, lead to Richards having a taste of seemingly normal home life—if only for a few weeks.
The Rolling Stones were given a rare break during a layover in Australia and Richards linked up with a single mum with an apparent pharmaceutical cocaine connection. However, during his downtime, he became enchanted by the casual and comfortable pace of suburban life.
Richards recalls in his 2010 memoirs Life: “Living in the suburbs of Melbourne for a week with a mother and child was kind of weird,” wrote the guitarist. “Within four or five days, I was like a right Australian old man. Sheila, where’s my fucking breakfast? … It was like I’d been there forever. And it felt great.” After a hectic life on the road for the last decade, it’s unsurprising that the allure of domesticity proved attractive.
It even saw Richards provide a bit of free child care while his girlfriend went to work. It would see the stadium-sized rocker as the man of the house: “I was a husband for a week. Changed the baby’s diapers. There’s somebody in a suburb in Melbourne who doesn’t even know I wiped his ass.”
With so many raucous tales about Keith Richards making up much of the rock and roll annals of debauchery, that there’s one which paints of the picture of Keef in a pinny and changing nappies.