Welcome to the new Uncut: Keith Richards at 80, The Doors, Essential 2024 Preview and more

Also stars The Doors, Springsteen, The Birthday Party, Kurt Vile, Pentangle, Sunny War and a free 15-track CD

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IN ‘The Titanic Sails At Dawn’, his 1976 polemic for the NME, Mick Farren harangued the previous decade’s rock’n’roll trailblazers who by now, he believed, had become part of the very establishment they had once rebelled against. “Did we ever expect to see The Rolling Stones on News At Ten,” railed Farren, “just like they were at the Badminton Horse Trials or the Chelsea Flower Show?”

The Stones, of course, have weathered such barbs with ease down the decades. Increasingly, it seems as they push ever onwards, they have become their own establishment – a kind of self-sufficient republic with its own rules, regulations and a unique set of operating systems. Releasing new music in their seventh decade, and with North American tour dates for 2024, they continue to break fresh ground with remarkable ease, redefining our ideas and expectations of what a band should be. Milestones continue to be reached: Mick Jagger turned 80 in July – and now, astonishingly, Keith Richards joins him later this month.


Our cover story, then, is a celebration of both Keith’s longevity and his irrepressible vitality as he reaches this landmark birthday. There are wonderful, warm and funny stories from old friends and collaborators as well as bandmates past and present. Stand by for plenty of piratical yarns; but also moments of surprising tenderness and warmth. Who knew Keith Richards – the old devil himself – could be so generous to the Boy Scouts during Bob-a-job week…?

The whole shabang opens with an exclusive introduction from Ron Wood while none other than Tom Waits has written us a brilliant new poem to honour this auspicious occasion.

What else is there to say? I’ll leave it up to Uncut’s newest contributor, then. As Waits’ writes in “Burnt Toast For Keith”…


“Happy Birthday KEITH the big 80 is here,

slap it in the face

and wake it up…”


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