Why Keith Richards Was Glad He Didn’t Got To Meet Elvis Presley
via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube
There are opportunities in your life that you don’t want to miss; not once. For example, if there’s a chance to see your childhood hero for the first time, what’s the point of saying no to it? But this is not always the case, unfortunately. Even Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards won’t hesitate to refuse an opportunity to meet an idol, and he’s had his reasons for it.
There are certainly a lot of stars that helped Richards inspire to become one of the greatest axemen in the history of rock. Apart from the blues-rock heroes, Keith gained inspiration from Elvis Presley, who changed the young Richards’ life when he first listened to “Heartbreak Hotel.”
“Life,” the guitarist’s autobiography, tells a childhood tale of when he first encountered the King of Rock & Roll. In the middle of the night, when he should have been sleeping, he was listening to Radio Luxembourg. Despite the poor quality of the signal, the song “Heartbreak Hotel” could be heard over the static. According to Richards, “that was the stunner. I’d never heard it before … I had to go back to what this cat had done before.”
He further wrote: “It wasn’t that I suddenly wanted to be Elvis Presley. I had no idea who he was at the time.” Yet, years later, he finds himself buying Presley’s “A Date With Elvis” album which is the very first album that he bought as a teenager.
And as much as he loves to compliment his idol, Richards never liked the idea of meeting him in person. Presley, like many stars that we know of, rose high and fell deep into the pit of Hollywood fame. It was said that at the near end of his life, Presley lost his sense of passion for his craft and gained dependence on drugs which took a toll on his health.
In a YouTube series entitled “Ask Keith,” Richards was asked if he ever got the chance to meet Elvis, to which, the guitarist replied: “He just fell down into … the hole; I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to meet a fallen idol, maybe.”
Nevertheless, Richards’ respect for the king remains; a proof that no matter how far you’ve fallen, those people who truly admire you will continue to value you for what you’ve done.