"People think I get my way a lot more than I do," Keith continued." You don't know what it's like dealing with the people I have to deal with. If it wasn't for the music, I wouldn't be doing it."
"Oh, Keith! Keith!" Jane Rose tends to shriek a bit when she talks. Her
job is to take care of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and she's very
protective of them.
"Oh, I knew I'd find you in here, in this ice-cold control room,
talking to Greg and listening to records."
Keith hit the "mute" button on the console, lowering the volume level
in the room.
"Gil's his name," he said.
"Gil, then. Listen, Keith-eee, we simply must begin to think about
getting on our
Greg, here Gil, I mean has those two
pilots waiting inside that
airplane, and we simply can't
keep them waiting, can we? You
what you have to do for
tomorrow. There's the dentist again, and there's the Consulate, and
there's Renaldo, in Rome, and we're way up here in
goodness-knows-where. And I
Patti must get back to the
city, too, mustn't you, dear, and I
"We're not going anywhere," Keith said, returning the level of the
studio monitors to full, undistorted blast.
"We're not going anywhere," he said again, I think, judging from the
way his lips moved.
I smiled, having only moments ago taken Keith behind the moose head in
the library with our two full glasses of Stolni' and orange juice. "You
don't have to go anywhere tonight, Keith," I had said. "It just starts
to get fun here after supper. You can hang out, listen to some records,
fool around, anything you want. The place is yours."
"Yeah," he muttered through a smile. "I don't have to go anywhere, do
"No, Keith," I said, "you don't."
And he didn't go anywhere. Jane brought the word back outside to Alan,
who was tired and just as happy to stay, and the pilots were released
from any duty within Gil's gorgeous airplane. Keith stayed, and stayed
largely inside the control room, playing and listening to music, for
the better part of three days.
"Get Jane up," he said at one point. It's always dark in the control
room, particularly when the black velvet curtains are pulled, and so
it's difficult to tell what time it is, or whether it's night or day. I
think it was about 5 AM. We had just gone through a half a dozen
versions of Merle Haggard's "Sing Me Back Home," Keith singing and
accompanying himself on the piano.
"Tell her to get Woody on the phone, and Bobby Keys, too."
"Keith," I asked, "do you know what time it is? I don't."
"Doesn't matter. I never get a chance to do this. You don't understand.
I suppose you think it's all fun being me. Listen, I never get a chance
to sing by myself like this play the piano without some bastard
weirding out and asking me why I wasn't playing the guitar, and looking
mean. People have their ideas about me. I bet you didn't think I could
play the piano, did you? Or sing classics from the thirties. Well, I
can, and I want to talk to Woody. He'll love it here. Where's Jane?"
"Upstairs, Keith, in the Crow."
"I'll go, Keith," volunteered Patti Hansen, and she slithered out the
door and up the staircase to the bedroom we call the Crow. Muffled
female voices indicated that Jane had not been sleeping all that
soundly, if at all, and that she had some reservations about calling
Woody and Bobby Keys.
"I know what you mean, Keith," I continued down below. "It's not
all that great when you get what you want. Me, I've got a lot of things
happening, but also a lot of screwed up relationships, like with my
girlfriend, who's the mother of my kids."
"Me, too," Keith said, slapping his vest pocket and looking about for
something he had obviously misplaced. "I did the same thing. Her name's Anita.
"Here's what you're looking for," I said. "Use the razor in the
"People think I get my way a lot more than I do," Keith continued.
don't know what it's like dealing with the people I have to deal with.
If it wasn't for the music, I wouldn't be doing it."
"Let's do 'Dream' next, what d'ya think?"
"Let's do it, Keith. Gimme a minute, though. I want to put some
two-inch tape on the big machine for this one. Something I want to
check on the machine first, too."
"No hurry, man. No... hurry." Keith stretched out the "no's" until they
wouldn't stretch any more, and addressed the mirror once again.
Patti Hansen leaned her full weight on the heavy studio door, opening
it a crack and looking in on Keith and me.
"Look at the two of you. I mean, I can't leave the room for a minute. I
need to talk to you, Gil. Come here, will you?"
"What's up, Patti?" I asked, a bit blinded once outside the door by the
early morning light. "What's up?"
"You've got to invent some excuse, Jane says. He may never leave here
if you don't. You don't know Keith. He likes it here, too much maybe.
But he's got to be in Rome before next Monday to get his visa fixed.
Jane's worried. Can't you say something about the plane, or something?
Really, Gil, he may not ever leave here, at all."
Patti Hansen is a very beautiful woman, and it was clear that
was asking me to take action, too. Not just Jane.
"Something about the plane?" I asked. "Like there's bad weather
in, and we'd better make a move soon."
"That would be great," Patti said, eyes flashing.
"Not before the Everly Brothers' tune," I said, somewhat automatically.
"He wants to do the Everly Brothers' tune, and he really should. That's
next. Don't worry, Patti," I said. "He's really doing fine in
"O.K., Gil, that's all great. But what do you think, I mean, what
should I tell Jane?"
"Tell her after the Everly Brothers' tune," I laughed.
"O.K., Gil," Patti said, smiling. "You know, you're not bad for
forty-one. That's how old you are, right?"
"You read the article in the magazine in the plane?"
"You put it there for us to read."
"Yeah, I guess I did. Listen, don't worry about Keith. I'll get him out
of here somehow. Just so long as it's not before we do the Everly
Brothers' tune, O.K.?"
"O.K.," Patti said.