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One of rock n’ roll’s most enduring icons will underline his seeming inability to retire — or, indeed, sit still — with a new BBC film and a weekend of programming.
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, whose continual survival ranks up among the greatest of medical mysteries (he only gave up cocaine at age 62), will front Keith Richards — The Origin of the Species, a 60-minute film by famed rock documentarian Julien Temple (The Filth and the Fury).
The film will see “Keef” return to his formative years in Britain post-WWII. For the first time on camera, he will speak about his suburban roots and the impact his generation had on popular culture.
“There was a feeling late ‘50s/early ‘60s that there was a change coming,” said Richards. “[Former U.K. prime minister] Harold Macmillan actually said it — the ‘winds of change’ and all that — but he didn’t mean it in quite the same way. I certainly felt that for my generation, what was happening and the feeling in the air was — it’s time to push limits. The world is ours now and you can rise or fall on it.”
Origin of the Species will the centerpiece of the BBC’s new My Generation series, a yearlong season of programs which will chart the history of pop music across the decades.
Temple, whose recent films have looked at music legends including The Clash, Dr. Feelgood and Ray Davies, said that “listening to the early Stones as a kid changed everything for me. I felt a new way of living emerging, a new kind of person becoming possible — something I wanted to be a part of. And without a doubt I thought Keith Richards was the Origin of the Species.”
The film will be followed by Keith Richards’ Lost Weekend, two nights of programming, all hand-picked by Richards, on the BBC Four network. Richards has not revealed his programming selections yet, but they could include documentaries, films or even live performances. The man himself will introduce both nights of programming and discuss the reasons behind his selections.
Keith Richards -—The Origin Of The Species will be executive produced by Jane Rose for Nitrate Films. The film and Keith Richards’ Lost Weekend were commissioned by and executive produced for the BBC by Jan Younghusband, head of music TV commissioning.
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