Keith Richards made an appearance on NBC's Today show on Tuesday morning and chatted with host Matt Lauer about his just-published children's book, Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar.
Lauer pointed out that most people don't think of Richards "and the words 'children's book' in the same sentence," to which the Rolling Stones guitarist responded, with a chuckle, "I understand this and I'd like to state right now that I'm trying to broaden my appeal." He added, "I've realized, you know, it's time to make grandpas hip."
In the book, which features illustrations by Keith's 29-year-old daughter Theodora, the rock icon tells the tale of how his beloved grandfather helped inspire his passion for playing music.
Richards explained that his grandfather had "a subtle way of turning me on to be a musician," which entailed encouraging him to play the Cuban song "Malaguena" on guitar.
As for what message he wanted to convey with his book, the 70-year-old rocker said, "It might help kids be aware that they do have grandparents and grandfathers. But at the same time, I'm hoping it works in reverse, and that grandparents recognize and realize that they have grandkids, and to tighten that bond."
Richards, who now is a grandfather of five, also admitted that as he's grown older, he's softened a bit. "When you have more to care about, you have to soften up and you pay more attention to things," he told Lauer. "It's called responsibility. It's called maturity. It's called a whole lot of fun, if you can make it, you know. I mean, you don't want to croak early, do you?"
Regarding what he'd like his grandkids to think about the classic Rolling Stones tunes he's helped create, like "Brown Sugar," "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Satisfaction," Richards declared, "I think, 'What a great piece of rock 'n' roll."
Richards also will be a guest on Tuesday evening's episode of NBC's The Tonight Show Featuring Jimmy Fallon, which airs at 11:35 p.m. ET/10:35 p.m. CT.
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