keith-richards-music-publishing-rightsIn a review for the New York Times book review, Liz Phair writes that Keith Richards’ new autobiography, Life, will teach you everything from “how to layer an acoustic guitar until it sounds electric” to “how to win a knife fight.” Recounting the trials and tribulations of the Rock-n-Roll life, the 66-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist, still alive by some miracle or failure of modern science, lays out a behind the scenes look at how a few kids from England that liked American blues music became one of the biggest and longest running rock bands in the world.

In addition to disclosing that he and Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger haven’t really been friends in decades, Keef also talks about the band’s money matters, particularly when they were dealing with Allen Klein. Klein became a co-manager of the band in 1965, and a few years later he had the band sign a contract that gave himself the publishing rights to most of the Stones’ songs from before 1971, including hits like “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Gimme Shelter.” The bad deal still haunts Richards to this day, as the band is not able to release career retrospectives containing this material.

Klein, not a businessman content with ruining the finances of the second largest band in the world, went on to swindle the Beatles out of plenty of money a few years later.