Friday, December 18, 2009

Keith Richards, tougher than leather

As they were discussing celebrities who might become part of the Louis Vuitton "Core Values" advertising campaign it must have been a delicious conversation when Keith Richards' name first came up.

"Let's see, we have Scarlett Johansson, followed by Catherine Deneuve, and then ... let's plug in Keith Richards!!!"

The campaign "was designed to pay homage to the fashionhouse's 'travel heritage and classic monogram leather goods.' ", so there we found the ageless rock hero, sitting on a bed in a fancy hotel suite playing a gorgeous black Gibson Les Paul ES 355. A cup of coffee and book sit on the elegant guitar case.

You saw the ad, right? It originally ran in selected newspapers, including the New York Times, and on billboards. The copy read: "Some journeys cannot be put into words. New York 3 a.m. Blues in C."

Forget those cheesy "poster pages" of sports stars and championship teams. This is the sort of campaign that could save newspapers. I'd subscribe to any publication that promised me full-page essays of my favorite musicians taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz.

An Adweek blogger reportedly cracked: "If you're selling leather bags, why not hire one too?"

To which our hero replied in a USA Today story: "It's never from the ladies. It's always male journalists. If I got annoyed about it, there would be a lot of dead journalists, and I'd be in jail."

Richards donated his pay to The Climate Project, but did ask for a custom leather guitar case.

Here's a behind-the-scenes-look at the photo shoot.

Damn, Keef, you made it to sixty-six! Happy birthday, mate, and many happy returns.


  1. As long as he stays out of trees he'll be rocking til he's 100. Might have something to do with snorting his dad's ashes.

  2. I saw the ad and thought it was great. Keef is to rock and roll what Catherine Deneuve is to beauty.

    I guess if you're a blogger for AdWeek it's easy to take shots at the guy who wrote a lot of the greatest hooks in rock music.

    Why the hell should Keef stop? He's like Howlin' Wolf or Johnny Cash ... a force of nature.

    Also, I have heard that Keef gives a lot of money to good causes. You never read about stuff like that, or about the Stones playing for the troops at Walter Reed Hospital the last time they were in town.