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My Letter to Keith Richards


Hello Keith! My name is Ken LaVoie, I live in Winslow Maine with my lovely wife Deb. We've got a 22 year old daughter living close by and I call them my "best girls". I've' been playing guitar since I was 10 years old (I'm 58 now), and the Stones have been my favorite since I was 12 or 13. I went to live 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 and adds some fills. I use open G a lot, and I think my rhythm style is a lot like yours. (Though my lead style is more like Mick Taylor's...I like to be a "clever bastard" sometimes...I can't help it!)

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 that honor any more than the next in a long line of folks with the same wish. But I want it very dearly and I'll jump through 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 "I don't regret nuttin'" attitude. I know some of that is for "show" but I can't help but think some of what's real shines through what you let the public see. I struggle with taking myself and life too seriously and I crave the openness, fearlessness and spiritual freedom that you show. I live my life from the neck up it seems, EXCEPT when I'm behind the axe, and it's your music and attitude that has inspired 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 "in the groove."

So please let me know how to earn the chance to jam with you. Tell me what I gotta do and I'll do it. Whether it's a short ride to Connecticut (4 hour 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!) You're also welcome to come here to our humble country home in Winslow Maine. We'll put you up in style and make sure we stock all the best.

Thanks for the gifts you've given
Yours in spirit,
Ken LaVoie