Keefs bio

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Keefs bio

Post by RCWG » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:20 am

Just read Keith Richards autobiography which came out a few years ago.
He mentions Burroughs a couple of times:

1967: "And from Algeciras, where we checked in as Count and Countess Castiglione, we took the ferry and the car over to Tangier to the El Minzah Hotel. There, in Tangier, were Robert Fraser; Bill Burroughs; Brion Gysin,
Burroughs's friend and fellow cutup artist--another of the hip public schoolboys--and Bill Willis,
decorator of exiles' palaces."

1971: "Off of Bill Burroughs, I got apomorphine, along with Smitty, the vicious nurse from Cornwall. The cure
that Gram Parsons and I did was total anti-heroin aversion therapy. And Smitty loved to administer it.
"Time, boys." There's Parsons and me in my bed, "Oh no, here comes Smitty." Gram and I needed to
take a cure just before the farewell tour of 1971, when he and his soon-to-be wife, Gretchen, came over
to England and we went about our usual ways. Bill Burroughs recommended this hideous woman to
administer the apomorphine that Burroughs talked endlessly about, a therapy that was pretty useless.
But Burroughs swore by it. I didn't know him that well, except to talk about dope--how to get off or how
to get the quality you're after. Smitty was Burroughs's favorite nurse and she was a sadist and the cure
consisted of her shooting you up with this shit and then standing over you. You do as you're told. You
don't argue. "Stop sniveling, boy. You wouldn't be here if you hadn't screwed up." We took this cure in
Cheyne Walk, and it was Gram and me in my four-poster bed, the only guy I ever slept with. Except that
we kept falling off the bed because we were twitching so much from the treatment. With a bucket to
throw up in, if you could stop twitching for enough seconds to get near it. "You got the bucket, Gram?"
Our only outlet, if we could stand up, would be to go down and play the piano and sing for a bit, or as
much as possible to kill time. I wouldn't recommend that cure to anybody. I wondered if that was Bill
Burroughs's joke, to send me to probably the worst cure he'd ever had."

1972: "We did dry up. "Casino Boogie" came out of when Mick and I had just about run ourselves ragged.
Mick's looking at me, and I go, I don't know. And it came to my mind, the old Bill Burroughs cut-up
method. Let's rip headlines out of newspapers and pages out of a book and then throw 'em on the floor
and see what comes up. Hey, we're obviously in no mood to write a song in the usual fashion, so let's
use somebody else's method. And it worked on "Casino Boogie." I'm surprised we haven't used it since,
quite honestly."

1972: The cynicism of the 1972 tour included Truman Capote, Terry Southern
(would have included William S. Burroughs if the Saturday Review had come up with Bill's price),

1972: "The traveling physician mentioned by Stanley we'll call Dr. Bill, to give it a Burroughsian ring. His
specialty was billed as emergency medicine."

Keiths son, Marlon says "Anita used to take me round to see Andy Warhol, William Burroughs. I think he lived in the men's showers at the Chelsea Hotel. It was all tiled, and there were washing lines with used condoms on them, hanging across the room. Very strange man." - I think he was maybe confused with the Chelsea hotel and the Bunker.

And finally Keith again in 1997 "Sometime during one of those nights Bill Burroughs died, so in homage to his work I sent angry Burroughsian cut-ups to Don Was, the producer in the middle--you rat, this is going to be finished my way, nobody else's way, with screaming headline cuttings and headless torsos. Batten down the
hatches; we're going to war. I just had a beef with Don. I love the man and we got over it right away, but
I was sending him terrible messages."

Its interesting the bit with Gram Parsons about apomorphine. I don't think Burroughs continual praise of apomorphine was a joke. Its maybe just not for everyone. Keiths cure of choice was a black box with electrodes attached to his ears sending vibrations through his head to null the pain. Which probably does sound better than the vomiting all day on apomorphine.

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Re: Keefs bio

Post by dheadley » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:22 pm

Keith and Anita (recently deceased) spent a lot of time in Robert Fraser's Mount Street flat. So did WSB.

Details in 'Groovy Bob' by Harriet Vyner.

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Re: Keefs bio

Post by Graham Rae » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:42 pm

Why does the description of Smitty remind me of Burroughs's childhood nanny...?

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Re: Keefs bio

Post by RCWG » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:19 am

And also, in Burroughs piece "The Unworthy Vessel", why does the nurse remind me of smitty?

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