“I did a demo of a song I wrote called ‘Devil Woman.’ Played it for Keith,and he was totally impressed. ‘Dude,’ he said ‘that could totally be a smash hit for the Stones.’ I was like, cool! Keith traded me a 1958 Telecaster for the tape. This rare Tele had actual tooth marks where Howlin’ Wolf himself had bitten it during a rainy outdoor show in Milan, 1963.
Well, Keith had always planned to cover my song. He sent me telegrams to that effect. Unfortunately, he passed out on some railroad tracks in Helsinki back in 1997, and woke up a week later with the bridge of his nose broken and all his gear stolen, including the tape. He told me Deep Purple went rummaging through his pockets. So my song got lost. But I was like, that’s cool, Keith.
“Keith, as you probably know, drives around an air-conditioned tractor-trailor containing part of his guitar collection. He invited me in for a game of “Yahtzee.” We hung out, rolled dice, and talked about the nature of unconsciousness.
Keith kept swigging from a gallon jug of animal tranquilizer and pausing to jab himself in the eye with a Spork. He could recite the poems of W.H. Auden at length, and could balance a plastic Millenium Falcon on his nose. I lent him my ocarina, and he did a simply terrible rendition of “Tocchata and Fugue in D Minor.”
That’s my Keith story. It was pretty fun, but I preferred the company of John Stuart Mill, which I’ll tell you about the next time I’m in Calcutta.