First off, before you even read this, go ahead and put on your favorite Rolling Stones song. For ambiance. Seriously, even if they aren’t one of your favorite bands, there’s got to be at least one or two songs you might like. I’m going to go with this one:
So, lately I’ve been volunteering a lot (seriously, A LOT) in the library at my kids’ elementary school. I’ve gotten to know the librarian pretty well and just love helping her improve the library and pick out and display new books. I’m such a book nerd that its really a perfect place for me. And yesterday, we put out TONS of new books (not necessarily newly published, but newly purchased) for the kids to take a look at, including this little beauty.
Keith Richards (with lovely art by his daughter) tells a beautiful story about how, why, and when he came to love music. His beloved grandfather, Gus, would take him for walks all over London when he was a boy. And sometimes, they would stop in a music shop and have a chat with some of Gus’ friends. Little Keith became so enamored with the men and their camaraderie and with the sounds of the piano, drums, and guitars, he knew he wanted (or needed) to make his own music.
But Gus told him he wasn’t ready.
Gus kept his own personal guitar on a small shelf over the piano in his house. And Gus told Keith that when he was big enough to get the guitar himself, then he was big enough to play it.
And so Keith waited. And grew to love music even more. He treasured his walks with his grandfather and his visits to the music shop.
And of course, one day, Keith discovers that he can reach the guitar all by himself.
AND NO, I’M NOT CRYING. YOU’RE CRYING.
This is a sweet and lovely story. The version that I read included a lovely cd of the song Gus instructed Keith to learn, telling him that once he knew how to play it, he should be all right. It also has Keith reading the story in his cigarette-raspy voice, which is strangely charming.