A few days ago, the news that Bruce Springsteen was writing a children book based on his song ‘Outlaw Pete’ made Iman choke on his lunch, but the boss is not the only rock star to give a try at the kid book story: Keith Richards is publishing ‘Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar’, a book for children about Richards’ relationship with his grandfather, Theodore Augustus Dupree, who played in a jazz big band and introduced the young Keith to music.
According to the LA Times, Dupree had 7 daughters and only 1 male grandchild, which made them develop a special bond. ‘I think he was relieved when I came along and he finally had someone to do guy stuff with,’ said Keith to the Times… so the book is not about a song this time, it is autobiographical, and an idea which came to Richards’ publisher when the famous Rolling Stone was working on his 2010 autobiography. ‘They said, ‘We think this chapter about your grandfather could make a really nice kids’ book.’ I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’’
They weren’t kidding, and Theodora Richards, one of two children from Keith’s 30-year marriage to Patti Hansen, is even illustrating the book… ‘This is the first time I’ve ever gotten to do a project like this with him,’ said Theodora, who was named after Richards’ grandfather, ‘It was so surreal to sit next to daddy and go through the old family pictures we used to help with the illustrations. He was really supportive of all my drawings and really encouraged me to use my imagination.’ She took it very seriously and even traveled to the Richards family home in Dartford, England, looking for family and historical photographs of Richards’s childhood era to work on her illustrations.
I tried to go on Amazon, and you can’t look inside the book, but they say that the book ‘offers a rare and intimate look into the childhood of the legendary Keith Richards’ and ‘honors the special bond between a grandfather and grandson’, but it will also include selected photographs from the Richards’ family collection and an exclusive audio CD featuring Keith reading the story with some bonus content.
Who would have guessed there was such a tender heart inside this Stone man? He wanted to share with us the joy to discover music at such a young age through his beloved granddad. ‘I have just become a grandfather for the fifth time, so I know what I’m talking about,’ Keith Richards said to the Guardian. ‘The bond, the special bond, between kids and grandparents is unique and should be treasured. This is a story of one of those magical moments. May I be as great a grandfather as Gus was to me.’ Awww, aren’t you all crying?
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