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My Letter to Keith Richards


Hi! My name is Ken LaVoie, I live in Winslow Maine with my lovely wife Deb and my daughter Elissa. (I call them my "best girls"). I have been playing guitar since I was 10 years old (I'm 54 now), and the Stones have been my favorite since I was 12 or 13. I went to be with my Dad when I was that age and he turned me onto "Get yer ya yas out" and the first solo I learned was the live "sympathy for the devil" where YOU start it, and I think Mick Taylor takes over later when Mick starts with the "come on down" part. My latest victory is really getting Salt of the Earth down just the way (I hope) you did it. The open E, the weird B sus chord that just hangs there wondering what to do with itself.

My personal dream since then, never changing, has been to jam with you. I know this might be a long shot; I mean I don't deserve this honor any more than the next in a long line of people with the same wish. I WANT this honor more than every one of them though! I want it very dearly and I'll jump through some hoops to earn it.

Why? I love your style. I love your work and now that I've grown up a bit, what I really see more than the music is this "freedom" of spirit that can pretty much be summed up with the line "I don't regret nuttin'", which I've seen quoted in some article or other. I struggle with taking myself and life too seriously and crave the openness, fearlessness and spiritual freedom that you show. I live my life from the neck up it seems, and you've taught me to play from the neck down. That's about it in a nutshell. The only time I get "out of my head" is when I get "behind the axe."

Ok, I'll end it here. I did have one more thing I wanted to share with you. It's a tribute to my Dad. He passed away in 2006 in Cambodia, living the good life at age 59. I made a movie with some music and pictures that I hope you might find inspiring.

So please let me know that we can Jam. Tell me what I gotta do and I'll do it. Whether it's a short ride to Connecticut (4 hours drive) or a long trek to Parrot Cay, you name the place and I'll get me and my girls there. (I gotta bring my best girls, I hope that's ok!) My wife would never forgive me if I met my hero and she wasn't there to see the shine in my eyes and my little girl ... well 'nuff said! (And I promise to wear my Keith Richards for President T shirt!)

One Love Brother, One Love
Yours in spirit,
Ken LaVoie

Note: This is an interesting article I found on "how to play guitar like Keith Richards".