Keith Richards Has Given Up Liquor: ‘It Was Interesting To Play Sober’

Keith Richards and Jack Daniels are no longer one of rock music’s most famous pairings.

The famously hard-partying Rolling Stone tells Rolling Stone that he has almost completely quit drinking and has given up hard liquor entirely.

“It’s been about a year now,” says Richards, who turns 75 next week. “I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it.” He says he still has “a glass of wine occasionally, and a beer,” but with liquor, “it was time to quit. Just like all the other stuff.”

Richards has previously said that he quit drugs after a 1977 arrest in Canada for heroin possession, the Guardian notes. He says giving up drinking was an adjustment, “but I don’t notice any difference really—except for I don’t drink.”

Richards tells Rolling Stone that at the band’s shows earlier this year, “it was interesting to play sober.”

Fellow Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood adds: “We’re weaving [guitar parts] a lot more conscientiously now … We’re in our seventies, but we’re still rocking like we’re 40-year-olds, you know?”

He says Richards is now much more mellow and a pleasure to work with.

Wood says getting sober in 2010 left him in the right place to deal with life events including the birth of his twin daughters in 2016 and a cancer scare this year. “I got a second chance and my little girls and my whole life now is so much better,” he says. “I think Keith is seeing that kind of thing as well … he cut down slowly, and now, you know, good luck to him. If he’s gonna keep it up, I’ll be there, full support.” (Earlier this year, Richards apologized to Mick Jagger for a vasectomy joke.)