Jagger: Keith's new book is 'a bit bitchy'

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The Independent Online

Keith Richards' war of words with Mick Jagger continued yesterday, when he admitted that his Rolling Stones bandmate had described his autobiography as "a bit bitchy".

It seemed a mild term for a brutally candid memoir that mocks the size of the legendary frontman's "todger" – a fact that was later disputed – describes him as "unbearable" and says he is worthy of the nickname "Your Majesty" for his diva-like behaviour.

While Jagger was busy lending his support to the campaign to save London's struggling rock venue the 100 Club, Richards, 66, was promoting his new book Life, which has been praised as a smart, warm account marred by hurtful jibes at his old friend.

The famously untamed guitarist described writing the memoirs as the most difficult thing he had ever done, but yesterday said his band mates had given it good reviews – although Jagger had said it was "a bit bitchy here and there".

The pair's bickering has become legendary, but the Richards autobiography prompted some critics to speculate that such a pointed attack on his bandmate could sound the death knell for the Stones. The guitarist, however, was singing a different tune yesterday, insisting the band planned to tour next year and might record new material in December.

"Everybody's ready to go out there again," he told BBC 6 Music. "Who said it should stop, and who said when? Only we will know when it comes to an end, with a crashing halt."

The Stones' last world tour earned them $558m (£344m), but many feared it would be their final hurrah after several dates were postponed due to ill health within the band.

Richards said they were gearing up to record new material, adding: "After these many years working together, we have a lot of unfinished stuff to work on that we had to leave off the last album. And knowing Mick, as I do, he's a very prolific writer. I have ideas [too] and we'll put them together in December or January. We're looking forward to working."

The pair, who have been friends since they were four, have had a famously troubled relationship, frequently calling each other names. In the book, Richards compliments his song-writing partner at times, while treating him with contempt at others.

"I used to love Mick, but I haven't been to his dressing room in 20 years. Sometimes I think, 'I miss my friend'. I wonder, where did he go?," he wrote.

Richards also wrote about the singer's relationship with Marianne Faithfull, saying she "had no fun with his tiny todger. I know he's got an enormous pair of balls – but it doesn't quite fill the gap".

Jagger, meanwhile, is supporting the campaign to save London's 100 Club. Ironically, the Rolling Stones were not allowed to play at the venue in their early days, but finally performed an intimate gig there in the 1980s. Supporters, who are trying to raise £500,000 to keep the club open, include Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie, the Sex Pistols' Glen Matlock and Razorlight's Johnny Borrell.